John Muir ecstatically describes spring in the mountains

Peñalara National Park, Spain. Photo by Sue Burke.

“How deep our sleep last night in the mountain’s heart, beneath the trees and stars, hushed by solemn-sounding waterfalls and many soothing voices in sweet accord whispering peace!

“And our first pure mountain day, warm, calm, cloudless — how immeasurable it seems, how serenely wild! I can scarcely remember its beginning. Along the river, over the hills, in the ground, in the sky, spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm, new life, new beauty, unfolding, unrolling in glorious exuberant extravagance — new birds in their nests, new winged creatures in the air, and new leaves, new flowers, spreading, shining, rejoicing everywhere.”

John Muir (1838-1914) is often called the “Father of the National Parks.” In 1890, due in large part to his efforts, an act of the US Congress created Yosemite National Park. Muir was also personally involved in the creation of Sequoia, Mount Rainier, Petrified Forest, and Grand Canyon national parks. The idea of national parks eventually spread worldwide.

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