John Muir's Hymn to Nature

I've discovered a wonderful coffee table book that is a hymn to nature. It is the 100th Anniversary Illustrated edition of My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir. It is a dip-in and refresh yourself kind of book, one that needs to be read in short sessions of meditation. Read and listen for the poetic language.

Come, climb to the top of a nearly cubical mass of granite:       

"...the one big stone with its mossy level top and smooth sides standing square and firm and solitary, like an altar, the fall in front of it bathing it lightly with the finest of the spray, just enough to keep its moss cover fresh; the clear green pool beneath, with its foam-bells and its half circle of lilies leaning forward like a band of admirers, and flowering dogwood and alder trees leaning over all in sun-sifted arches."

Feel the frustration after an afternoon spent forcing a flock of sheep across a small stream:      
"The wool is dry now, and calm, cud-chewing peace has fallen on all the comfortable band, leaving no trace of the watery battle. I have seen fish driven out of the water with less ado than was made in driving these animals into it. Sheep brain must surely be poor stuff. Compare today's exhibition with the performances of deer swimming quietly across broad and rapid rivers, and from island to island in seas and lakes ; or with dogs, or even with the squirrels that, as the story goes, cross the Mississippi River on selected chips, with tails for sails comfortably trimmed to the breeze. A sheep can hardly be called an animal; an entire flock is require to make one foolish individual."

Listen to the bubbling brooks:
"A more tuneful set of streams surely nowhere exists, or more sparkling crystal pure, now gliding with tinkling whisper, now with merry dimpling rush, in and out through sunshine and shade, shimmering in pools, uniting their currents, bouncing, dancing from form to form over cliffs and inclines, ever more beautiful the farther they go until they pour into the main glacial rivers."

Glory in the description and renew yourself.