I first heard the name John Muir while watching a documentary on the National Park Service. Throughout the six part series, his name came up time and again. His passion for nature was pivotal in ensuring the parks we have today. And after that bit of information, he became a hero to me.
He loved nature. He loved nature that was unspoiled by human interference. He particularly loved Yosemite. His passion would lead him to fight for the wilderness. This got the attention of Teddy Roosevelt, and an important friendship formed as a result. John Muir's passion was contagious, and Roosevelt soon took up the power in his presidency to start designating areas as parks.
At first, no one quite knew what the rules would be. Could we use the parks for industrialization later? Could we never touch them? They weren't really sure at the time. They just knew it needed to be preserved. There were several important moments that would define how we use and see our parks that spanned over many years--some long after Muir and Roosevelt were no longer the ones deciding.
I believe there is a healing power in nature, and that same sentiment is echoed in that documentary. It draws us in, and makes us feel at peace with the world. No matter how bad the day is, a walk in nature sets it right. John Muir found solace in nature, and loved spending his days surrounded by it. When I think of our National Parks, and the incredible treasures that they are, I think of how much we owe John Muir for fighting to save the land.