Saturday, June 20, 2009


Whether Muir's deep faith in nature is still possible in our own time is a question that his admirers must continue to ask themselves and to find answers of their own. Can contact with nature inspire people to a higher ethic, a greater decency? Or is the human species by and large incapable of reverence, restraint, generosity, or vision? Have we truly learned to respect a nature that we did not create, a world independent of us, or do we see only the hand of humankind wherever we look? Muir was a man who tried to find the essential goodness of the world, an optimist about people and nature, and eloquent prophet of a new world that looked to nature for its standard and inspiration. Looking back at the the trail he blazed, we must wonder how far we have yet to go. (Donald Worster, A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir).

I recently finished Worster's biography on John Muir, and it was fantastic. What an incredible guy John Muir was. I am awed by his love and commitment to a cause which laid a foundation that much of the modern environmental & conservation movement has been built upon. His strong belief in the wilderness being able to cure the ills of mankind resonates well with me. Having just gotten back from JH Summer Camp up in the mountains of California, I feel renewed from having spent time in God's creation. The crisp air, the tall mountains, the trees, even the extended day trip to the ocean - all worked together to help heal parts of my soul. It felt so good to have God wrap His arms around me thru the work of His creation. For me, I will honor the life of John Muir (beyond my membership with the Sierra Club) by doing what I can to preseve the wilderness of America as a means to connecting with God. Nature is my standard & inspiration because in it I find the clearest picture of God.