John Muir Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to John Muir. Here they are! All 100 of them:

β€œ
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
The mountains are calling and I must go.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity
”
”
John Muir (Our National Parks)
β€œ
The world's big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.
”
”
John Muir (The Mountains of California)
β€œ
And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
”
”
John Muir (John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir)
β€œ
In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
The sun shines not on us but in us.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
The world, we are told, was made especially for man β€” a presumption not supported by all the facts.
”
”
John Muir (A Thousand-Mile Walk To The Gulf)
β€œ
John Muir, Earth β€” planet, Universe [Muir's home address, as inscribed on the inside front cover of his first field journal]
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
The power of imagination makes us infinite.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Handle a book as a bee does a flower, extract its sweetness but do not damage it.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
Going to the mountains is going home.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can".
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.
”
”
John Muir (John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir)
β€œ
Everybody needs beauty...places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Going to the woods is going home.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue.
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
Most people are on the world, not in it β€” have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them β€” undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.
”
”
John Muir (John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir)
β€œ
There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Earth has no sorrow that earth can not heal.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!
”
”
John Muir (The Mountains of California)
β€œ
Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
”
”
John Muir (Our National Parks)
β€œ
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
There is not a fragment in all nature, for every relative fragment of one thing is a full harmonious unit in itself.
”
”
John Muir (The Wilderness World of John Muir)
β€œ
Hidden in the glorious wildness like unmined gold.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Nothing truly wild is unclean.
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
On no subject are our ideas more warped and pitiable than on death. ... Let children walk with nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life, and that the grave has no victory, for it never fights.
”
”
John Muir (A Thousand-Mile Walk To The Gulf)
β€œ
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men.
”
”
John Muir (The Mountains of California)
β€œ
This time it is real β€” all must die, and where could mountaineer find a more glorious death!
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
Not blind opposition to progress,but opposition to blind progress...
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Yet how hard most people work for mere dust and ashes and care, taking no thought of growing in knowledge and grace, never having time to get in sight of their own ignorance.
”
”
John Muir (John Muir: His Life and Letters and Other Writings)
β€œ
I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness.
”
”
John Muir (Wilderness Essays (Peregrine Smith Literary Naturalists))
β€œ
Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.
”
”
John Muir (The Wilderness World of John Muir)
β€œ
Who wouldn't be a mountaineer! Up here all the world's prizes seem nothing
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
One day's exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings.
”
”
John Muir (The Wilderness World of John Muir)
β€œ
One should go to the woods for safety, if for nothing else.
”
”
John Muir (Our National Parks)
β€œ
Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
”
”
John Muir (The Mountains of California)
β€œ
God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fool
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.
”
”
John Muir (Our National Parks)
β€œ
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. -John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
What a psalm the storm was singing, and how fresh the smell of the washed earth and leaves, and how sweet the still small voices of the storm!
”
”
John Muir (Stickeen)
β€œ
How narrow we selfish conceited creatures are in our sympathies! How blind to the rights of all the rest of creation!
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening - still all is Beauty!
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Raindrops blossom brilliantly in the rainbow, and change to flowers in the sod, but snow comes in full flower direct from the dark, frozen sky.
”
”
John Muir (The Mountains of California)
β€œ
A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. -John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Most people who travel look only at what they are directed to look at. Great is the power of the guidebook maker, however ignorant.
”
”
John Muir (Travels in Alaska)
β€œ
Writing is like the life of a glacier; one eternal grind.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Wander a whole summer if you can...time will not be taken from the sum of your life. Instead of shortening, it will definitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
It has always been my understanding that truth and freedom can only exist in wild places.
”
”
Daniel J. Rice (This Side of a Wilderness)
β€œ
Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
One learns that the world, though made, is yet being made; that this is still the morning of creation; that mountains long conceived are now being born, channels traced for coming rivers, basins hollowed for lakes...
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes, the heart of the people is always right.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
I ran home in the moonlight with firm strides; for the sun-love made me strong.
”
”
John Muir (The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir's Greatest Adventures)
β€œ
And into the woods I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
All the world was before me and every day was a holiday, so it did not seem important to which one of the world's wildernesses I first should wander.
”
”
John Muir (The Yosemite)
β€œ
Anyhow we never know where we must go, nor what guides we are to get---people,storms, guardian angels, or sheep....
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
I don't like either the word [hike] or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not 'hike!' Do you know the origin of that word saunter? It's a beautiful word. Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going they would reply, 'A la sainte terre', 'To the Holy Land.' And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. Even so, God cannot save them from fools.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
I am learning to live close to the lives of my friends without ever seeing them. No miles of any measurement can separate your soul from mine.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Long, blue, spiky-edged shadows crept out across the snow-fields, while a rosy glow, at first scarce discernible, gradually deepened and suffused every mountain-top, flushing the glaciers and the harsh crags above them. This was the alpenglow, to me the most impressive of all the terrestrial manifestations of God. At the touch of this divine light, the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt, religious consciousness, and stood hushed like devout worshippers waiting to be blessed.
”
”
John Muir (The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir's Greatest Adventures)
β€œ
Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Nature in her green, tranquil woods heals and soothes all affliction,’ wrote John Muir. β€˜Earth hath no sorrows that earth cannot heal.’ Now I knew this for what it was: a beguiling but dangerous lie. I was furious with myself and my own conscious certainty that t his was the cure I needed. Hands are for other humans to hold. They should not be reserved exclusively as perches for hawks. And the wild is not a panacea for the human soul; too much in the air can corrode it to nothing.
”
”
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
β€œ
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. Awakening from the stupefying effects of the vice of over-industry and the deadly apathy of luxury, they are trying as best they can to mix and enrich their own little ongoings with those of Nature, and to get rid of rust and disease.
”
”
John Muir (Our National Parks)
β€œ
Never while anything is left of me shall this... camp be forgotten. It has fairly grown into me, not merely as memory pictures, but as part and parcel of mind and body alike.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
In drying plants, botanists often dry themselves. Dry words and dry facts will not fire hearts.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
...every sight and sound inspiring, leading one far out of himself, yet feeding and building up his individuality.
”
”
John Muir (Wilderness Essays (Peregrine Smith Literary Naturalists))
β€œ
I was awakened by a tremendous earthquake, and though I hadn ever before enjoyed a storm of this sort, the strange thrilling motion could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin, both glad and frightened, shouting, "A noble earthquake! A noble earthquake" feeling sure I was going to learn something.
”
”
John Muir (The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir's Greatest Adventures)
β€œ
Beauty beyond thought everywhere, beneath, above, made and being made forever.
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
…their eager, childlike attention was refreshing to see as compared with the decent, deathlike apathy of weary civilized people, in whom natural curiosity has been quenched in toil and care and poor, shallow comfort.
”
”
John Muir (Wilderness Essays (Peregrine Smith Literary Naturalists))
β€œ
In God's wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
...full of God's thoughts, a place of peace and safety amid the most exalted grandeur and enthusiastic action, a new song, a place of beginnings abounding in first lessons of life, mountain building, eternal, invincible, unbreakable order; with sermons in stone, storms, trees, flowers, and animals brimful with humanity.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
It was the afternoon of the day and the afternoon of his life, and his course was now westward down all the mountains into the sunset. [speaking about Ralph Waldo Emerson]
”
”
John Muir (Our National Parks)
β€œ
It is always interesting to see people in dead earnest, from whatever cause, and earthquakes make everybody earnest.
”
”
John Muir (Our National Parks)
β€œ
He had gone to the higher Sierras... [about Ralph Waldo Emerson's death]
”
”
John Muir (Our National Parks)
β€œ
At the touch of this divine light, the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt, religious consciousness, and stood hushed like devout worshippers waiting to be blessed.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Every morning, arising from the death of sleep, the happy plants and all our fellow animal creatures great and small, and even the rocks, seemed to be shouting, "Awake, awake, rejoice, rejoice, come love us and join in our song. Come! Come!
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
If you’re John Muir you want trees to live among. If you’re Emily, a garden will do. Try to find the right place for yourself. If you can’t find it, at least dream of it. When one is alone and lonely, the body gladly lingers in the wind or the rain, or splashes into the cold river, or pushes through the ice-crusted snow. Anything that touches. God, or the gods, are invisible, quite understandable. But holiness is visible, entirely.
”
”
Mary Oliver (Felicity)
β€œ
We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. Our flesh-and-bone tabernacle seems transparent as glass to the beauty about us, as if truly an inseparable part of it, thrilling with the air and trees, streams and rocks, in the waves of the sun,β€”a part of all nature, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal.
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
If for a moment you are inclined to regard these taluses as mere draggled, chaotic dumps, climb to the top of one of them, and run down without any haggling, puttering hesitation, boldly jumping from boulder to boulder with even speed. You will then find your feet playing a tune, and quickly discover the music and poetry of these magnificent rock piles -- a fine lesson; and all Nature's wildness tells the same story -- the shocks and outbursts of earthquakes, volcanoes, geysers, roaring, thundering waves and floods, the silent uprush of sap in plants, storms of every sort -- each and all are the orderly beauty-making love-beats of Nature's heart.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail.
”
”
John Muir
β€œ
Chastity and moral purity were qualities McCandless mulled over long and often. Indeed, one of the books found in the bus with his remains was a collection of stories that included TolΒ¬stoy’s β€œThe Kreutzer Sonata,” in which the nobleman-turned-ascetic denounces β€œthe demands of the flesh.” Several such passages are starred and highlighted in the dog-eared text, the margins filled with cryptic notes printed in McCandless’s distincΒ¬tive hand. And in the chapter on β€œHigher Laws” in Thoreau’s Walden, a copy of which was also discovered in the bus, McCandΒ¬less circled β€œChastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.” We Americans are titillated by sex, obsessed by it, horrified by it. When an apparently healthy person, especially a healthy young man, elects to forgo the enticements of the flesh, it shocks us, and we leer. Suspicions are aroused. McCandless’s apparent sexual innocence, however, is a corolΒ¬lary of a personality type that our culture purports to admire, at least in the case of its more famous adherents. His ambivalence toward sex echoes that of celebrated others who embraced wilderness with single-minded passionβ€”Thoreau (who was a lifelong virgin) and the naturalist John Muir, most prominentlyβ€” to say nothing of countless lesser-known pilgrims, seekers, misΒ¬fits, and adventurers. Like not a few of those seduced by the wild, McCandless seems to have been driven by a variety of lust that supplanted sexual desire. His yearning, in a sense, was too powΒ¬erful to be quenched by human contact. McCandless may have been tempted by the succor offered by women, but it paled beside the prospect of rough congress with nature, with the cosmos itΒ¬self. And thus was he drawn north, to Alaska.
”
”
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
β€œ
The making of gardens and parks goes on with civilization all over the world, and they increase both in size and number as their value is recognized. Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. This natural beauty-hunger is made manifest in the little windowsill gardens of the poor, though perhaps only a geranium slip in a broken cup, as well as in the carefully tended rose and lily gardens of the rich, the thousands of spacious city parks and botanical gardens, and in our magnificent National Parksβ€”the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia, etc.β€”Nature's sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world. Nevertheless, like anything else worth while, from the very beginning, however well guarded, they have always been subject to attack by despoiling gain-seekers and mischief-makers of every degree from Satan to Senators, eagerly trying to make everything immediately and selfishly commercial, with schemes disguised in smug-smiling philanthropy, industriously, sham-piously crying, "Conservation, conservation, panutilization," that man and beast may be fed and the dear Nation made great. Thus long ago a few enterprising merchants utilized the Jerusalem temple as a place of business instead of a place of prayer, changing money, buying and selling cattle and sheep and doves; and earlier still, the first forest reservation, including only one tree, was likewise despoiled. Ever since the establishment of the Yosemite National Park, strife has been going on around its borders and I suppose this will go on as part of the universal battle between right and wrong, however much of its boundaries may be shorn, or its wild beauty destroyed.
”
”
John Muir (The Yosemite)