Spirituality and Nature

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

Something to Ponder

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

Nature’s Welcoming

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

Sleeping in a Graveyard!

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!

The Gospel of John (Muir)

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)

Nature Makes Nations Great

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