My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir is Muir’s personal journal documenting his journey into the Sierras while watching and driving Mr. Delaney’s sheep herd for the summer. Muir’s enthusiasm and pure love of nature is evident from the first page of the book. It truly is a masterpiece of Muir’s and over the next couple weeks I will highlight some beautifully written and prosaic excerpts from his book.
“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. Our flesh-and-bone tabernacle seems transparent as glass to the beauty about us, as if truly an inseparable part of it, thrilling with the air and trees, streams and rocks, in the waves of the sun, — a part of all nature, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal. Just now I can hardly conceive of any bodily condition dependent on food or breath any more than the ground or the sky. How glorious a conversion, so complete and wholesome it is, scarce memory enough of old bondage days left as a standpoint to view it from! In this newness of life we seem to have been so always”
-John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, June 6
“Like most other things not apparently useful to man, it has few friends, and the blind question, “Why was it made?” goes on and on with never a guess that first of all it might have been made for itself.”
-John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, June 7