Top 50+ John Muir Quotes

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John Muir was born on the 21st April 2838 and died 24th December 1914, and is regarded as an influential author, naturalist and advocate for preserving the wildness in the United States before expansion and industry could do irreparable harm. His created books and essays about many of the national parks including Yosemite and Sierra Nevada. One of his greatest achievements was co-founding the Sierra Club, an organisation focused on conservation. It was his published articles on preservation that enabled the support in Congress needed to pass the 1890 bill establishing Yosemite as a National Park.

As a result of his profound interest and passion for environmental matters, whether of a political nature or otherwise, his writings and commentary have been widely referenced and debated in literature, even up to the present day. You will find his quotations and reflections within many prominent journals, books and commentaries.

Furthermore, Muir is regarded as a pioneer of ecological thinking, politicising conservation and to this day, is a mentor-type figure to many authors and activists through his writings, beliefs and efforts to save the world.
We have selected some quotations that capture his spirit and passion for wilderness conservation and we hope they have a profound effect on you, as they did with us.

1. “Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.”

2. “How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!”

3. “The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.”

4. “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.”

5. “The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”

6. “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

7. “Handle a book as a bee does a flower, extract its sweetness but do not damage it.”

8. “The morning stars still sing together, and the world, not yet half made, becomes more beautiful every day.”

9. “Earth has no sorrow that earth can not heal.”

10. “I am learning to live close to the lives of my friends without ever seeing them. No miles of any measurement can separate your soul from mine.”

11. “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

12. “None of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.”

13. “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.”

14. “There is a love of wild Nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love ever showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.”

15. “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

16. “Yosemite Park is a place of rest… None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree.”

17. “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

18. “Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.”

19. “There is not a fragment in all nature, for every relative fragment of one thing is a full harmonious unit in itself.”

20. “Beauty beyond thought everywhere, beneath, above, made and being made forever.”

21. “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”

22. “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.”

23. “Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.”

24. “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

25. “To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.”

26. “We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men.”

27. “One should go to the woods for safety, if for nothing else.”

28. “Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer.”

29. “Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill.”

30. “All the world was before me and every day was a holiday, so it did not seem important to which one of the world’s wildernesses I first should wander.”

31. “Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill. Of all the upness accessible to mortals, there is no upness comparable to the mountains.”

32. “The mountains are calling and I must go.”

33. “Going to the mountains is going home.”

34. “We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.”

35. “How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!”

36. “Who wouldn’t be a mountaineer! Up here all the world’s prizes seem nothing”

37. “One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.”

38. “Then, after a long fireside rest and a glance at my notebook, I cut a few leafy branches for a bed, and fell into the clear, death-like sleep of the tired mountaineer.”

39. “But the darkest scriptures of the mountains are illumined with bright passages of love that never fail to make themselves felt when one is alone.”

40. “In our best times everything turns into religion, all the world seems a church and the mountains altars.”

41. “The battle for conservation must go on endlessly. It is part of the universal warfare between right and wrong.”

42. “The sun shines not on us but in us.”

43. “Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away.”

44. “Most people are on the world, not in it.”

45. “The deeper the solitude the less the sense of loneliness, and the nearer our friends.”

46. “Here are the roots of all the life of the valleys, and here more simply than elsewhere is the eternal flux of nature manifested.”

47. “Here I could stay tethered forever with just bread and water, nor would I be lonely; loved friends and neighbors, as love for everything increased, would seem all the nearer however many the miles and mountains between us.”

48. “Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.”

49. “Nothing truly wild is unclean.”

50. “I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness.”

51. “Wherever we go in the mountains, or indeed in any of God’s wild fields, we find more than we seek.”

52. “And into the woods I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

53. “At the touch of this divine light, the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt, religious consciousness, and stood hushed like devout worshippers waiting to be blessed.”

54. “It seems supernatural, but only because it is not understood.”

55. “Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue; indeed the body seems one palate, and tingles equally throughout.”

56. “I never saw a discontented tree.”

57. “Wherever there were glaciers, the world was in a constant state of creation.”

58. “One must labor for beauty as for bread.”

59. “There is nothing more eloquent in Nature than a mountain stream.”

60. “The power of imagination makes us infinite.”

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