Nature's Eloquence from Prehistoric Siskiyou Island and marble halls of Oregon By Chandler Bruer Watson

To whatever we may be indebted for the life present and to come, we are also indebted for that which gives us genuine pleasure in this life, and that pleasure depends largely upon our study, understanding of and adaptation to the conditions we find in the material world about "us. We grow tired of darkness and wish for the sunshine. We are not satisfied with music, nor sermons, nor any other one thing. We appropriate to our use the infinite variety and details that belong to the material mass without stopping to think of the relations we bear to them, or they to each other. We do not stop to study these relations and have no conception of the beauties and startling surprises in store for the student of nature, who of all others can fully understand such impaired passages as have been written by Wordsworth, Byron and other poets who have gone out of the herds of humanity into the majesty of untamed nature and there, forgetting the age, have opened and read the great book. Such as they, can appreciate the beauties of Muir's descriptions and are made better by the change of companionship. Byron says:

There's pleasure in the pathless woods
There is beauty on the lonely shore.

There is society where none intrude
By the deep sea, and music in its roar.

I love man not the less, but nature more,
From these, my wanderings * * *

To understand well is to observe closely; and how many do so observe? Read Muir's description of the Douglas squirrel and whether you have ever seen this little animal or not, you will be conscious of following one whose whole soul is in his study, and who has not lost sight of the slightest detail. To one who has closely watched this little bundle of sunshine and muscle, comes the delight of seeing him again in his native haunts. So delightfully complete is the description that you hear his chatter; you can see the majesty of the forest where he makes his home; you smell the odors of the pine woods and the balsam of the firs; the fragrance of the flowers and grasses delight your senses: every pine needle and cluster of leafy foliage varies the monotony of a steady sunlight and carries to you so soothingly the music of movement and murmur, that every chord of a healthy being becomes responsive to the melody.

Whatever may be our conception of the Creator we are here nearest to Him, and as we tune our souls to harmony with such environment we come into closer contact with the Creator and His creation, "He in us and we in Him", part and parcel of harmonious whole in which is no discord, except in man's egotism or selfishness he makes it. He who seeks the grove finds there the Temple. He climbs to the mountain top and as he stands there and feasts his soul on the grandeur and beauty that is spread out around and below him, his consciousness is more than admiration; It is reverence in the presence of an unseen and mighty power, and his sentiment is that of adoration for the author of it. It needs not the weak devices of humanity to direct his attention; human devices are not needed for such a sermon—a veritable "Sermon on the Mount." Nature sings her own songs; the poet calls it the "music of the spheres."

In the presence of matured nature the old grow young again, moral and physical miasmas are left behind in the haunts of men. The grateful shade, the leaping and singing of the water, fresh from nature's fountain, sparkling and bright as the dew-drops of the morning, invite to restful repose, while the fragrance of nature steals away the senses, and the sweets of unhaunted dream-land make an Elysium of her own combinations. Here, then is the sanatorium that meets every requirement, fills every want, where is built up every tissue; here the mental, physical and moral receives each its proper treatment. Such a book speaks a universal language. No translation or revision is required. It makes no difference what tongue is spoken by the auditor, nor whether he be educated of ignorant, savage or civilized, he can read, for himself, and if he will study the book he will gain understanding from it. It is the book of books, nature itself, written by the author of all, and furnishing the text and substance of every other book. Why, then is he who admires it most, seeks it, studies it, and adores the author of it not a consistent worshiper, and pleasing in the sight of its Creator and his.

He who makes the roses grow, where before was a bleak hillside or barren spot, is a worker in the Father's vineyard. He who studies nature and improves the quality of fruit is a public benefactor, and draws his inspiration from the book. There is a voice crying in the wilderness that rustles the leaves in the tree tops. The birds mingle their melody with the fragrance of the flowers, ferns and grasses. There all is life, activity and joyous freedom, so delightfully blended as to make up the most harmonious whole. Man alone is a breeder of discord in his scramble with man. There are too many teachers among the creatures, with little thought of the lessons of harmony taught in the book of nature.
Nature's Eloquence from Prehistoric Siskiyou Island and marble halls of Oregon By Chandler Bruer Watson