John Muir Quotes

Posted by Karen Nierlich on

John Muir Quotes
People gave these three John Muir quotes generous heaps of praise when I shared them on Instagram.           

These three poetic, ecstatic quotes capture what I hope to express through mossy, forest photos. John Muir says it best! 

Though his writing, John Muir hoped to draw people to nature so they too could enjoy it's spiritual and healing powers. He also hoped they'd be moved to protect our wilderness for future generations.

Here are the three quotes in their entirety: 

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." 

"Keep nature close to your heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

John Muir Quotes"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."

I wondered about John Muir's ecstatic writing style. I learned that John Muir read a lot of poetry in his teens! When he was fifteen, two neighbor boys recited their favorite poems to him including Byron, Poe, Wordsworth, and Milton. His father insisted that Muir and his children read only the Bible. However, John Muir started secretly borrowing books from the neighbors and read the Romantic poets, as well as novels, biographies, natural history, mathematics, and philosophy.

As I mentioned, his father believed in reading only the Bible. He tried to keep John from reading anything else. John did read the Bible, but he had a powerful curiosity and desire to read other books as well.

In John Muir's writing he speaks about nature in religious terms using rapturous, romantic wording. It seems like John Muir had a religious-like view of nature and that nature replaces religion in John's world. So that explains why John Muir's writing style has both a biblical and romantic quality. 

My sources are a book called John Muir: My boyhood and youth and this article on John Muir's Life and Religion. 



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