meeting john muir


“The mountains are calling and I must go”

What a moment. Could you imagine… crossing paths with John Muir on a hike one average, quiet day on our way to a grandmother Juniper tree on a butte?

Our lil’ homeschool group meets on Fridays for “forest school”. Perhaps you remember I’ve spoken of our forest fridays here before. We meet somewhere in nature, for a hike, for a play-day, for communion amongst the trees. Well, it just so happens that Mr. John Muir himself stumbled across us along our hike today–arranged by one of our mamas. A historian who told beautiful stories of the man from Scotland, immigrated to Wisconsin, homeschool educated himself and grown to appreciate nature, courageously explore lands, dream and work marvels in history that ultimately preserved such beauty.

His life is such a monument.

But here we are in this modern day. And an actor-historian arranged to cross our paths. Magic woke up here. Under the trees.

Mr. Muir asked about our group, we said we were home-schooled. He asked what we were doing out there. The children replied…”schooling, hiking, playing, learning, having fun”… I smiled inside when Mr. Muir said “what are you talking about? Schooling in the forest?” and our children responded “yes” like it’s a totally normal thing. Which of course it is for them. For these children, school=play=adventure=learning=loving=being. All one in the same. There was no difference and that indeed was a beautiful moment. Mr. Muir began his story telling by asking the children to close their eyes and listen to the music of the wind in the trees. I took a deep breath. I heard the music. Of the wind. Through the trees. I breathed.


It is easy in the chaos of life to sometimes forget that stepping outside, bending over, picking up a fallen soft leaf, a simple nothing movement, is communion with God. When times feel lonely, when times feel separate, when sadness and grief moves in, the communion comes steadily breathing in and out. In verse. In rhyme. In breath. In a walk, a hike, in the music of the wind. In nothing more than simply showing up, making the hike and breathing in and out. The magic might so happen to just step out somewhere along the trail.


10 thoughts on “meeting john muir

  1. Awesome!!!! Did you meet professor Doug Hulmes? I would love to hear his speach again. We went to see him a couple weeks ago when he spoke at a church presented by Prescott Audubon Society. His impersonation of Muir moved me to tears and prompted me to check Muir’s writings again. Kids loved Stickeen story. Does Professor Hulmes work with homeschool groups for a presentation?
    How magical to walk amongst trees and meet Mr. Muir. I am happy you had such an experience. ❤
    We've had such an amazing time with so many caring people here learning about nature. At the Highlands nature center last Friday kids spring event, little old lady, who called herself Joannie Baloney from Arizonie, introduced us to all types of plants and their features with such endless joy and passion, no lesser one than that of John Muir himself. It gives me strength, the small acts of passion.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. wish I could have been there. I am still enjoying and slowly working my way through a 900 page hardcover book, filled with personal correspondence from John some other material that people had written who knew him first hand.

    Liked by 1 person

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