Saturday 21 April 2018
John Muir Day in California
John Muir (April 21, 1838 December 24, 1914) was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is a prominent American conservation organization. The 211-mile (340 km) John Muir Trail, a hiking trail in the Sierra Nevada, was named in his honor. Other such places include Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, John Muir College, Mount Muir, Camp Muir and Muir Glacier. In Scotland, the John Muir Way, a 130 mile long distance route, was named in honor of him.
California celebrates John Muir Day on April 21 each year. Muir was the first person honored with a California commemorative day when legislation signed in 1988 created John Muir Day, effective from 1989 onward. Muir is one of three people so honored in California, along with Harvey Milk Day and Ronald Reagan Day.
A few minutes ago every tree was excited
A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.
Another glorious day
Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue.
Every leaf seems to speak
When one is alone at night in the depths of these woods, the stillness is at once awful and sublime. Every leaf seems to speak.
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread
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.
Fighting for the forests
The battle we have fought, and are still fighting for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong, and we cannot expect to see the end of it.
So we must count on watching and striving for these trees, and should always be glad to find anything so surely good and noble to strive for.
(The National Parks and Forest Reservations)