Three quotations from John Muir (1838-1914) the great Scottish naturalist, mountaineer:
- 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. (1)
- The darkest scriptures of the mountains are illumined with bright passages of love that never fail to make themselves felt when one is alone. (2)
- I met cassiope (mountain heather) growing in fringes among the battered rocks . . . . Winter and summer, you may hear her voice, the low, sweet melody of her purple bells. No evangel among all the mountain plants speaks Nature's love more plainly than cassiope. Where she dwells, the redemption of coldest solitude is complete. The very rocks and glaciers seem to feel here presence, and become imbued with her own fountain sweetness.
In these three selections of Muir's writings, he reveals a spirituality of nature in which creation becomes an evangelist, a proclaimer of the good news of God, in which creation is to be read as scripture, declaring the glory and truth of God. Nature, in her tiniest details, in her flowers, rivers, lakes, mountains and storms, as well as in her grandeur, all Nature declares the good tidings of God and illumines the nature of God, and even moreso, brings us into the very heart of God, bringing us inner peace, spiritual renewal and soul refreshment through our direct encounter with God's creation.
As Paul declares, "Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made" (Romans 1:20).
1) quoted from "Southern Rocky Mountain Wildflowers", p.7.
2) quoted from John Muir's "Mountaineering Essays
3) quoted from John Muir's "Mountaineering Essays, p. 36-37.