Friday, October 22, 2010

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. -John Muir

Sssshhhh....Don't tell my hubby but I have a huge crush on another guy.

He's a hottie in that Grizzley Adams/ZZtop-kinda way

The niece CaseyCakes introduced us to free NetFlix. Our family loves documentaries about history, biographies, & anything by National Geographic. We are all big-time armchair travelers.  Netflix has these in abundance for free. If it's for free - it's for me. While watching a documentary on Yosemite Park I was introduced to John Muir (1838 - 1914)

I have heard his name before but never really paid any attention to who he was. As they read quotes from John's writings - his journaling really, as he wandered through the wilderness of Yosemite, I really felt a kindred spirit with this guy. I've always been drawn to people who walk  off the beaten path. My hobby is studying early church history - my favorites being the early desert fathers/mothers. Jon Muir had eyes to see more than majestic  scenery. His eyes saw the Creator in all of creation from the smallest wild flower to the tallest Sequoias.
He described himself as a "poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist etc. etc." 

John Muir's family were Scottish immigrants who settled in Wisconsin when he was 11. His father was legalistically religious and forced his son to memorize almost the entire Bible. John spent his childhood either looking for bird's nests or fighting on the playground. He was a restless spirit. 

While at college in Canada he spent much of his time wandering the swamps around Lake Huron studying plants and trees. He made his way down to Indiana where he worked as an industrial engineer. It was there that in the style of Forrest Gump he took off on a 1,000 mile walk south to Florida. 
He had no specific route except to go by "the wildest, leafiest, and least trodden way I can find. "He made it to Florida where in Cedar Key he contracted Malaria and had to stop.  Upon recovering he decided to sail to California and ended up in the port of San Francisco. It was from there he ended up at Yosemite to explore the wilderness for the next 30 years.
One of his sketches

Quotes from John Muir -

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

"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."

"This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls. "

If I ever get asked that question "If you could have dinner with any famous person living or dead who would it be?"  No hesitation, dinner for 2 - me & John Muir.