I wrote this is, well, not quite a poem back in 1997. It’s about getting on your path and encountering the giants that came before you. It’s how you measure up.
On my journey this day, I follow in the footsteps of the immortals. The imprints they have left behind on the Earth are large and their strides are a stretch for me. Yet, if I dare not encounter them and measure myself by them, how shall I ever know the true immensity of my own being?
So, I step consciously into the light; walking the path they once walked. Leaving it, occasionally, and improvising. Adding to it qualities uniquely my own.
Breathing with the trees and conversing with the clouds, as once they did. Our collective wisdom grows until no distinction remains among the path, the immortals, and me.
Follow and achieve your greatness!
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John Muir (1838-1914) was a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and philosopher who was an early advocate of protecting wilderness in The United States. He is sometimes called “The Father of the National Parks.”
He wrote numerous essays about nature, especially the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The famous environmental club he helped form – The Sierra Club – remains a force in conversation today. He was instrumental preserving Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.
Here are five of his most inspiring quotes about nature.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
Earth has no sorrow that Earth can’t heal.
The mountains are calling and I must go.
You can find a more extensive list of Muir quotes on the TAS Quotes page.