Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Good Tidings from Yellowstone

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

John Muir, The Yellowstone Park, 1901


And there's a guy who didn't have a Ford Expeditious to get him hither and yon. He was probably eating bark and elk meat and sleeping in a lean to for weeks just to get to the park.


And much more recently, Muir's tidings conjured even more broadly, called, in a word, "reverence," a virtue, if rightly placed, we need all we can get:

"There is overwhelming evidence that most of the [native] tribes that used the Yellowstone area (especially the hot springs and geyser basins) saw it as a place of spiritual power, of communion with natural forces, a place that inspired reverence. For all the other things modern society might learn from the American Indian experience, and for all the things that went wrong, even near Yellowstone, in the dealings between Euramericans and Indians, there is this one remarkable reality that binds us together. The magic and power of this place transcend culture; it is a compelling wonder not for just one society but for all humans, whatever their origin."

Paul Schullery, Searching for Yellowstone: Ecology and Wonder in the Last Wilderness, 1997



Addendums and more tales from the wonderland Thursday....

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