Benevolent, solemn, fateful, pervaded with divine light, every landscape glows like a countenance hallowed in eternal repose; and every one of its living creatures, clad in flesh and leaves, and every crystal of its rocks, whether on the surface shining in the sun or buried miles deep in what we call darkness, is throbbing and pulsing with the heartbeats of God. ~John Muir
Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand.
It is wide open. The sword is taken away, but we do not know it:
we are off “one to his farm and another to his merchandise.”
Lights on. Clocks ticking. Thermostats working. Stoves
cooking. Electric shavers filling radios with static.
“Wisdom,” cries the dawn deacon, but we do not attend.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. ~Marcel Proust
…And we pray, not
for new earth or or new heaven, but to be
quiet in heart and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes…
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. ~John Muir
I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam. ~Annie Dillard
The Air was perfectly delicious, sweet enough for the breath of angels. Every drought of it gave a separate and distinct piece of pleasure. I do not believe that Adam and Eve tasted better in their balmiest nook. ~John Muir
Supernatural grandeur expands our soul and helps us throughout the day to live not in glass-breaking tension but in tiptoe perspective. It’s the place where, in our “upward leap of the heart,” we see beyond the fray to the Father who does all things well. ~Patsy Clairmont
And God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good. ~Genesis 1:31 KJV
I am rich, rich beyond measure, not in rectangular blocks of sifted knowledge, or in thin sheets of beauty hung picture like about the “walls of memory,” but in unselected atmospheres of terrestrial glory diffused evenly throughout my whole substance…. ~John Muir
When I entered this sublime wilderness the day was nearly done, the trees with rosy, glowing countenances seemed to be hushed and thoughtful, as if waiting in conscious religious dependence on the sun, and one naturally walked softly and awe stricken among them. I wandered…as if in some vast hall pervaded by the deepest sanctities and solemnities that sway human souls. At sundown the trees seemed to cease their worship and breathe free. ~John Muir
*All photographs taken in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks where the glory of God is a breathable reality: astonishing, elevating, nourishing….for the one who sees.