In honor of John Muir’s 180th Birthday (b. April 21, 1838). . .this reflection: I keep turning this word/idea/concept/imagination called “spirituality” around in my brain like a rough stone or prickly seedpod. Here’s my current thinking: “Spiritual” experiences/moments/feelings in Nature are always disconnected from Nature. Otherwise, why call them “spiritual” rather than “natural”? As I […]Read More Spirituality and Nature
Reading more from John Muir before teaching my class today, this thought sauntered into my mind: We can’t BELIEVE what we SEE sometimes. . . So we tend to SEE what we BELIEVE. I read that to the class as a point to ponder, inspired by Muir’s interest in seeing Nature and the natural world […]Read More Something to Ponder
Muir’s great-grandson Robert Hanna passed along these excellent lines: “The United States government has always been proud of the welcome it has extended to good men of every nation, seeking freedom and homes and bread. Let them be welcomed still as nature welcomes them, to the woods as well as to the prairies and plains. […]Read More Nature’s Welcoming
On his 1000-mile walk from Indiana to Florida in 1867, John Muir sauntered into Savannah, Georgia and couldn’t find a safe place to sleep, and he was almost out of money. So he wandered into Bonaventure Cemetery on the edge of town and slept under the huge, old live-oaks there, branches drooping with Spanish moss. […]Read More Sleeping in a Graveyard!
Speaking at a local UU congregation this last Sunday (yes, a “secular sermon” on Easter!), I read this as our “scripture” from “The Gospel of John. . .Muir” (My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911). To honor Johnny’s birthday this week (April 21), here’s his reflection on a strange experience he had in the mountains […]Read More The Gospel of John (Muir)
For those who celebrate liberation from slavery (Passover), from death (Easter) or from faith (Spring full moon). . .here’s a lighter, amusing story from “secular saint” Muir I had published on Rational Doubt a few years ago. Taking the Sacrament with John Muir Happy. . .every day’s a holiday!Read More A Holy Week Sacrament with John Muir
My friend Thomas lives in Ethiopia. He sends me photos now and then of that beautiful African country. When my wife and I recently watched the film “Lamb,” filmed in Ethiopia with indigenous actors, we thought of Thomas. The landscape was incredible; the struggle of the people living close to the land was an education. […]Read More Nature Makes Nations Great