Happy Birthday John Muir!
He made clocks by carving all their parts out of wood, he solved the mystery how Yosemite Valley was created, self taught and inspired, influenced presidents and the common folks, John Muir preserved much of the wild heritage we treasure today! He coined so many poignant phrases describing our natural world in his writings. One of our favorite describes our home to a T, “The Range of Light” as he went about talking romantically about the science he was unraveling. Many have asked who has influenced my landscape photography the most, it has to be John Muir. In ’98 when I was honored with the John Muir Conservation Award, it meant more to me than I think anyone could have imagined because of the influence Muir has had on me.
My favorite book of his is The Wilderness World of John Muir, writings that bring out the romantic in anyone gazing over the Sierra. My first copy was given to me by my future mother-in law (no, didn’t know that at the time, I was still in high school) and got so dog eared carrying it in my backpack walking the John Muir trail with my dad in the years to come, I had to buy another copy. An amazing storyteller, Muir used is words carefully to describe the wonders he was often the first to describe, so each word goes straight for the heart. One of my favorite quotes though is about Muir I would like to share with you.
If John Muir didn’t have the foresight to preserve Yosemite Valley, we wouldn’t have it today to enjoy. The question is, do we have the foresight to preserve what we have today for future generations to enjoy?
Happy Birthday John, thanks for all the gifts you left us!