John Muir’s Divine Yosemite Conviction

yosemite (5 of 1)
Dusk approaching Washburn Point ~d nelson

With thanks to one man’s
total conviction to conserve & protect,
we can find our faith
in being a small, but mindful part
of earth, sky & beyond’s grandeur .

The italicized words of John Muir
elegantly illustrate my photos, below.

Mirror Lake reflects as sun rises over Half Dome ~d nelson

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!

Stoneman meadow sun up ~d nelson

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

I did not climb El Capitan ~d nelson

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.

Tenaya Creek taking off ~d nelson

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

Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.

Yosemite Park is a place of rest, a refuge from the roar and dust and weary, nervous, wasting work of the lowlands, in which one gains the advantages of both solitude and society. Nowhere will you find more company of a soothing peace-be-still kind. Your animal fellow beings, so seldom regarded in civilization, and every rock-brow and mountain, stream, and lake, and every plant soon come to be regarded as brothers; even one learns to like the storms and clouds and tireless winds. This one noble park is big enough and rich enough for a whole life of study and aesthetic enjoyment. It is good for everybody, no matter how benumbed with care, encrusted with a mail of business habits like a tree with bark. 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. ~John Muir

John Muir helped draw up Yosemite’s proposed boundaries in 1889, wrote the magazine articles that led to its creation in 1890 and co-founded the Sierra Club in 1892 to protect it. May his legacy help inspire actions which protect mother earth, so that she may continue sustaining all living beings. ~david

ps: hope this new blog format displays correctly 4 U.

165 Replies to “John Muir’s Divine Yosemite Conviction”

  1. First of all, I loved your new blog and your photographs are great shots, fascinated me. I felt myself as if I was there… Amazing words, and quotes, this is great post. Thank you dear David, Love, nia

    1. thank you for your bright, kind presence, dear nia!
      i appreciate your feedback on the blog theme.
      it was a joy to share the images taken last week.
      may your day be well πŸ™‚

    1. thank you for these kind words, Ralph!
      sorry i did not see it til just now
      as it was hidden in a dark wp spam closet.
      i asked wp not to put your comments
      in that greasy place again πŸ™‚

  2. Oh Wow David, I have always loved the words from John Muir, and you chose some wonderful quotes to accompany your AMAZING photos my friend..
    When one stands to witness such views, you can indeed feel your heart fill with so much love.. Nature at her best.. loved the Mirrored Lake over Half Dome But all are fantastic David..
    Many thanks for sharing them. πŸ™‚ πŸ’š

    1. makes me happy you’re along on this holiday
      in Yosemite, a most inspiring location on mother earth, Sue.
      there was rain and snow, along with very picture perfect weather.
      did make my heart happy to experience the sunrises and sunsets in & above the valley.
      wishing you a happy moment πŸ™‚

  3. Breathtaking imagery! John Muir’s words are so important, especially today, when powers-that-be look at the precious beauty of nature and see only dollar signs.

    1. thank you for such a kind review, franticshanti!
      we have some beautiful places to dwell thanks to Muir and others.
      is an interesting notion of profiting off of what is given freely by mother earth.
      in Yosemite one can get their wits about them and experience
      interbeing of earth, sky and all in-between. and in time, get that insight deep in their consciousness. or maybe they get a few cell phone pictures then post on their blog πŸ™‚

    1. makes me happy that you like it, Tom!
      my holiday last week was very special
      and fortunately i only spent part of the time
      taking pictures, and the rest of the time
      breathing, smiling and feeling connected πŸ™‚

    1. i smile to your kind words & sharing, dear Ana!
      so wonderful to have my inspired holiday
      from last week to share with others.
      may your day be well, david πŸ™‚

  4. After that fear of madness, or maybe during those period, somehow, somewhere in nature you feel the heart of a wild park, the wind, the sky pointing – there’s always a better person. Suddenly things come to it’s place, and you go home in peace. Great post.πŸ™‚

    1. smiling to your valuable insight, dear Deepak!
      i felt quite humbled and in awe
      of being a small part of something
      much more vast and alive
      during my photo holiday there last week.
      may your day be well πŸ™‚

  5. Beautiful photos, David. Breathtaking, majestic, glorious. Muir’s words are also a solace this morning. I worry about our National Parks and public nature spaces. Thanks for a hopeful, inspiring post.

    1. thank you for these touching words, Cheryl!
      yes, so much to be concerned for these days.
      fortunately, the forest & geology remains for us
      to experience, along with the critters who
      live there full time. we’ll do our best to help
      protect such sacred spaces that they may
      continue being places for taking refuge πŸ™‚

  6. Wow! David, this is a treat of a post and I feel my spirit flying with joy as I read his wise grounded words and view your stunning photos. It’s not often I just stop whilst looking at posts, sitting back to admire the scenery, absorb the writing – I did today! John Muir was an incredible man and just imagine if he had not worked so hard to create and protect Yosemite! Thank you for letting us glimpse into this … ‘The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

    1. i can imagine you sitting back and taking
      in the views i experienced last week, Annika!
      so many beautiful moments of transition.
      a most wonderful picture taking meditation place.
      Scottish-born Muir had a great conviction
      which we can learn from πŸ™‚

  7. It’s a beautiful place but I think I would feel a little overwhelmed there. For me it evokes awe – a slight feeling of wonder mixed with discomfort all at once πŸ™‚

    1. thank you for sharing your truth, Meanderer!
      Views from the valley seem epic.
      views from above are quite vast.
      we all have our preferences. i remember when i worked on the Hopi reservation there was an internist and his wife that lasted there just a short time. they felt they had to leave because it was too open and vast; with high desert views of earth and sky that stretched nearly a hundred miles in all directions. they had come from the east coast where vast views were not common. anyway, lots of people retreat to Yosemite and enjoy its beauty, despite challenges of travel, weather, crowds… πŸ™‚

      1. I think it’s difficult to understand where these feelings come from sometimes. I can see why lots of people do love being there πŸ™‚

    1. i’m happy hearing that it displays well for you, Tippy!
      my camera was up for the challenge
      as i pushed its buttons many times
      and it joyfully obliged with nice memories.
      may your day be well πŸ™‚

    1. thank you for these kind words, Ben!
      i tried to get pictures that would be nice when i’d look at them later
      while somewhere nearby would be several others snapping away and testing photographic skills.
      i hope they all got shots that inspire them as well as others. πŸ™‚

  8. My heartfelt thanks to John Muir and to you, too, for sharing his ode to Yosemite! He says it all: “Nowhere will you find more company of a soothing peace-be-still kind…. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree.”

    I believe that we-humans lost our connection with our soul, our inner spiritual being, when we distanced ourselves from Mother Nature and created urban centers to celebrate our own grandeur.

    1. it is sad that so-called civilizations have created the illusion of separateness from our natural surroundings, Rosaliene! how fortunate to still have vast and wild places to visit and take refuge in. so yes, remembering that special people took actions to preserve and protect. may we continue protecting the environment the best we can, despite the obstacles. wishing you a happy moment in a park πŸ™‚

  9. “….and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree.” Yosemite is high up on my bucket list with Muir Woods. I fear I will not want to leave, but I’m willing to take that tiny risk to witness the awesome beauty for what time I can. Your photos with his words make me breathe deeply in anticipation and appreciation.

    1. makes me happy that you plan to go sometime, JoAnna!
      it’s such a wonderful place to visit and explore.
      i’d suggest the spring or fall, myself. it’s quite crowded during summer.
      campgrounds can be reserved on line up to 6 months in advance.
      it was fortunate to have rain, snow, clouds and sunshine during
      my visit last week. wishing you a happy day with the nature there before you πŸ™‚

    1. thank you for this kind affirmation, Eric. i admit it was me
      that went there last week and snapped some images with gratitude of those who help set aside such beauty from being developed. makes me happy that you find the calm contentment i experienced. may your day be well πŸ™‚

  10. It’s been many years since I first camped out and hiked in Yosemite. But the vision of those large trees and their vast environment will never escape my memory. Many thanx for sharing your pics, David.

    1. really makes me happy that this has helped you get in touch with special Yosemite memories, loujen! while i’ve been there a number of times, this trip last week was special in its own way, especially the storms and changes of weather. wishing you a happy day with the natural environment close to you πŸ™‚

    1. how wonderful to still feel connected to Yosemite 25 years later, Bette!
      i first visited 40 years ago and fondly remember that back-country adventure.
      has gotten more crowded, though avoiding summer, the other seasons can offer wonderful experiences, weather permitting. may your day be filled with sunshine, david πŸ™‚

  11. Your photos are so amazing, David, and such perfect accompaniment to the divine words of a master environmentalist, John Muir. The longer I know you, the more you inspire me. Thank you!

    1. i’m always left with a smile after the gift of your sunshine, sunny!
      it’s a privilege having the conditions available to travel occasionally
      to be with such beauty. helps cultivate appreciation for the nature
      which is right before me, wherever i do. may your day have favorable weather and warm feelings πŸ™‚

    1. thank you for your kind words, dear Cate!
      i’m happy to be able to share these impressions
      of my special holiday last week.
      may your day be well πŸ™‚

    1. thank you for your kindness, leo!
      was an intentional photo holiday retreat
      for me and the camera. was quite fortunate
      to have such favorable weather conditions.
      wishing you a happy day with the nature close by πŸ™‚

  12. Stunning images, David. Not only are they good, they let people like me truly see the area as though I am there on the ground walking with you.

    It’s a timely reminder of what a wonderful planet we live on and the importance of protecting the wilderness for the generations that come after us.

    1. makes me happy hearing that my humble efforts to share my Yosemite retreat were accomplished, Vicki! twas fortunate conditions in and above the valley, and i followed my camera’s instincts to know what to do. yes, may we do our best to preserve and protect this precious planet, wherever we are. wishing you a pleasant day πŸ™‚

    1. thank you for your kind recognition, Neil!
      would be sad to have this valley closed off to all
      but a few mansion holders. wishing you a joyful day
      in the nature close by πŸ™‚

  13. I will never forget camping in Yosemite for two reasons. The divine beauty and peace I found there, but also the bear that came into our campsite to eat all our food! Quite a memory! Thank you David, for sharing these beautiful words and captures of this special part of our world. πŸ™πŸ»β˜€οΈπŸŒˆ

    1. oh thank you, Karen, for this wonderful remembrance. i’ve experienced Yosemite’s beauty and lost food to bears, also, as have many people i know who’ve camped there in the past. the bear boxes in the campgrounds and bigger parking lots are most appreciated. in the backcountry one must bring a bear container and hope that yogi and booboo are not too hungry and determined. wishing you a happy moment πŸ™‚

  14. What a beautiful post.
    Your photos are magnificent and do true justice to Yosemite.
    I like the new format very much but it would help I think if you made the stand-alone photos a little smaller. As they are they are too big for my laptop screen.

    1. thank you so much, Alison for your kind review and feedback!
      the pictures look big on my screen, but not too big. i’ll take a look at the options for image sizing. so the images at the top, that stand alone, are wider than your screen? i’ll try to make them just right next time there’s something to post. wishing you a joyful day up there in your beautiful natural environment πŸ™‚

    1. thank you for your kindness, dear Barbara!
      it was a blessing to have clear weather and storms for traveling; an 8 hour drive from where i live. i’m happy to be able to share my sense of awe captured by my trusty camera. wishing you a fresh, joyful day πŸ™‚

  15. David, thank you for this beautiful and almost ethereal post. I was enjoying breakfast among
    The trees when your post came up and brought me up short. Coffee cup abandoned , I read and re-read. I travelled the mountains with John Muir, yourself and all those who loved this remarkable place.
    The photos and the quotes are a treasure trove, David. And as I hear the little birds singing around me I think of the quote that all belong to each other. How true and beautiful.


    1. your kind appreciation make me smile, miriam!
      i’m very grateful have the time and conditions to have spent a holiday there. all i had to do was take the lens cap off and the camera seemed to know that the scenary would be worthy of visiting again, long after the visit. i shall listen to local birdies to hear of their stories, perhaps even to Yosemite, an 8 hour drive from here. πŸ™‚

  16. Nice format and font πŸ€“β˜ΊοΈ David and stellar images and I’ve been in our rocks here…a tad colder but I can smell that fresh air…beauty and adventures wonderful…have a joyful day Daniels Hedy πŸ™‚πŸ™ƒ

    1. thank you for your kind and helpful feedback, dear hedy!
      how wonderful that it’s warm enough for you to get out
      and smell the brisk fresh air and almost climb the chilly rocks
      up there in the beautiful northern part of the planet.
      wishing you a happy, warm moment πŸ™‚

    1. makes me happy that you enjoy the imagery, Jean-Jacques!
      i enjoyed being there and simply let my camera do its thing.
      twas a special trip up to glacier and washburn points right after a storm passed through.
      wishing you a bright, fresh moment πŸ™‚

  17. Really beautiful! I love the photos, looks like an amazing experience. Seriously I would love to have a print of a few of those in my home. I’ve been reading through Muir myself recently and even when I don’t have time to explore the wild wilderness he is almost as good a substitute as one can find. Thank you for sharing!

    1. gratitude for your kind appreciation, Buddhadosha!
      the images to help me touch the warmth, chills, wetness, birdsongs, solitude and sounds of crowds offered during the visit. if you send me a message on the β€œcontact me” page, i’ll figure a way to send you a printable copy. smiles, david πŸ™‚

    1. thank you, sally!
      twas a heartfelt Yosemite experience
      with sun, rain, clouds, snow
      on the outside and inside, too.
      may your day be well πŸ™‚

    1. Makes me happy you
      experience them so, Carol!
      it was wonderful conditions
      last week in Yosemite.
      wishing you relaxed
      flowing into summer πŸ™‚

    1. makes me happy you find them so, Suzanne!
      was food fortune to be there and have battery in the camera. May your day continue being in beauty, david πŸ™‚

    1. thank you for your generous review, Linda!
      thankfully they’ve been set aside, yes,
      so we all can spend special time there.
      may your day be happy, also πŸ™‚

  18. Oh how I reveled in this tribute to John Muir and the one-and-only Yosemite. John Muir is a hero for all he did for us in Calif. and his love for the Sierras and the wilderness; we are so fortunate to be recipients of his legacy, all of us around the world. I really enjoyed the inspiration and title of your post, David. The photos are truly excellent, and show perfectly the grandeur of Yosemite. John Muir’s quotes were extra special too. A delight to visit here, as always, thank you.

    1. your affinity for Muir and the places he championed
      is joyfully infective, Jet! Thank you for the kind review.
      the weather conditions were favorable and my cameras
      did more than i could have asked of them.
      i’m happy sharing these wonderful memories with you.
      may your day be happy and cool πŸ™‚

  19. Such a great posting. Beautiful words by John Muir and spectacular photography. I’ve visited many places in the United States, but I’ve never been to Yosemite. It would be nice to get there some day.

    Thank you for a mini-virtual vacation. 😎

    1. i’m happy to share with mini vacation of mine
      with you, here in the virtual wordpress world!
      yosemite is certainly a place worth visiting, if possible.
      since it is quite popular, especially in the summer,
      i’d suggest the spring or fall. campsites book up many months in advance,
      but it’s worth it to keep trying to get reservations (if possible, in the valley).
      then there’s the high and backcountries, still not open due to snow. but being up in tuolumne meadows is pretty nice. hopefully there’s a pleasant park close by and easily accessible for you in the next days πŸ™‚

      1. I’ve hiked and climbed in the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon (near Sedona, Az.), Zion National Park in Utah, the Adirondack Mountains & the Catskills Mountains in Upstate New York, the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, the Smokey Mountains, mountains around Saguaro Lake in Arizona, mountains right outside Phoenix as well as seen many beautiful sights around the U.S. and in Colombia. I hope I get to Yosemite. I’d also like to visit Bryce Canyon in Utah. I was fairly close years ago when I was in Zion Park, but had never seen the amazing scenery there until afterwards.

        There is so much beauty in the world, yet so much hating and fighting that clouds our minds and prevents us from treating the planet the way she deserves.

        Hopefully we evolve before destroying too much of it.


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