Saturday, May 26, 2012

Muir's "Wilderness Conversion"

"I'm in the woods, woods woods, & they are in me-ee-ee. The King tree & me have sworn eternal love-- sworn it without swearing & I've taken the sacrament with Douglass Squirrell drank Sequoia blood, & with its rosy purple drops I am writing this woody gospel letter. I never before knew the virtue of Sequoia juice. Seen with sunbeams in it, its color is the most royal of all royal purples. ... I wish I was so drunk & Sequoical that I could preach the green brown woods to all the juiceless world, descending from this divine wilderness like a John the Baptist eating Douglas Squirrels & wild honey or wild anything, crying, Repent for the Kingdom of Sequoia is at hand."
--John Muir, letter to Jeanne Carr, Fall, 1870
(as found in Land and Spirit in Native America by Joy Porter, Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2012)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Muir Woods

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, Our National Parks

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Natural Cure

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature."
--Anne Frank

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open —
pools of lace,
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again —
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

--Mary Oliver (from New And Selected Poems, (c) Mary Oliver)

Monday, May 7, 2012


“One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature--inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within the reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watched and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.”

--John Muir, First Summer

[as found in Dark Green Religion by Bron Taylor]

A Magical Eye?

"It is a terrible and dangerous arrogance to believe that you alone are right, that you have a magical eye which sees the truth and others cannot be right if they disagree. This makes it certain that there is one way and one only, and that it is worth any amount of suffering (particularly on the part of other people) if only the way prevails."
--Isaiah Berlin

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
--Maryanne Williamson