“an infinite storm of beauty”

Happy (belated) John Muir Day.  Having grown up in California and spending every childhood summer in the high Sierra, I always had an appreciation for Muir and his writing continues to find resonance.  Maybe it’s because I’ve found myself in Muir’s footsteps, though my journey has taken me the opposite direction: from California to Scotland.

I’ve posted a brilliant video below that puts Muir’s timeless words to spectacular images of Yosemite.  I’ve always loved this passage from Muir’s writing, quoted in the wee film:

..when we contemplate the  whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with contents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.

Travels in Alaska, 1915

Though the video sets these words to images of Yosemite, this was actually Muir’s reflection as he set sail from away California toward Puget Sound and British Colombia, part of his longer journey to Alaska.  There’s a great sense of perspective that is obviously captured in the beauty of Yosemite, but transcends that.  We could easily hear these same words echoing during a run through the Campsie Fells, or even just there in my garden to refill the bird feeder, seeing the bumble bees and colourful shoots of spring.

Anyway, take five minutes to enjoy some of Muir’s mental balm: