From Muir’s Letter to Emerson 03.26.1872


I have been going about the valley all morning day, anxious to learn what I could of this magnificent power. The ground is still in motion. It has never fairy settled since the first shock. Between each of the greater shocks a heavy rumbling is heard, not always dis- tinguishable from the explosive notes of the Upper Fall. These are the first spoken words that I have heard direct from the tender bosom of Mother Earth. Frogs cease their songs when a severe shock occurs. I noticed a pair of robins flying with a frightened cheep cheep from a shaken oak. Butterflies seem to know nothing about it. Vertical animals are mostly in sore consternation. Two or three have fled. A little girl of Hutchings cried terror stricken in the night, Grandma Grandma Pray to God to stop it. I met? two violets up by Indian Canon I asked them while I looked in their eyes, what they thought of the great quake storm. They replied It’s all Love . We have lost Eagle Rock but have gained another that is more beautiful, Distruction is always creation; storms of water cloud, Storms of azure wind, purple granite, are things of Beauty Love, working Beauty Love constantly higher yet higher – I did not purpose sending so much storm. I write mostly to repeat my invitation to Yosemite next summer. for this year Pacific letters fly Atlanticward like wounded birds, All are unsteady many fall dead in drifts.

Our thoughts and love are with our friends​, family and all the people of California.