Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – Anonymous
In a survey conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) they found that people in the United States spend 87 percent of their time indoors, mostly at either home or work. Bear in mind, that’s an average. Many people spend much more of their lives indoors.
John Muir knew that getting into the wild was an essential to life well lived. Spending time outdoors in nature keeps us grounded, gives us perspective, and rejuvenates the soul.
We spend much of our lives worrying over what is truly trivial. Make sure you take time to choose paths of dirt.
Thanks to my wife Joan for once again being the subject of my camera’s eye. I captured this photo on our hike to the scenic Trail Canyon Falls off of Big Tujunga Canyon.
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Lovely quote! I really like the simplicity and the intensity these words imply…
I have seen people attributing this quote to Muir… you think it is Anon instead then? After I saw it on facebook I was immediately skeptical. I love this image though, makes me want to go play in the dirt.
Jeff Hester says
It sounds Muir-ish, but it’s not a Muir quote. And thanks — that’s my wife in the photo. She makes at least one appearance in just about every post on SoCalHIker. 🙂
Bill Tarkulich says
Jeff, you and I, while thousands of miles apart are kindred spirits. It is the mountains and forests that draw me back While I near my seventh decade of life, I’m still out there, albeit slower and less ambitious, it’s that connectedness that I seek and wish I could get it more often. The reflections in your writing are heart-felt, not just some hokey Hallmark Greeting card. I have bookmarked your site. Well Done. Well Done!
Bill Tarkulich , Lexington, Massachusetts
Love it and I agree with you. I must be outdoors as often as I can. SoCal is the perfect place for that.
I was blessed with a father who made certain I knew all the dirt roads and trails within 200 miles of my 4 year old home, who instilled in me the necessity to intimately know the outdoors, the plants , animals, sounds, the winds, the rains, the sunshine, every joy and sadness nature had to offer. His philosophy centered on kindness, respect, and love for all that the world of outdoors offered so generously. I have carried this all my life , next to my heart, and have had enrichment because of this. How often I wish I could share my remote camping and hiking times with him..the wonderful animals I have shared my life with, and the many children I have passed on his lessons to in my classrooms. This sounds so simple, but it has proved to be the most glorious and profound foundation to build my life on,…and ,oh, what a life it has been! Thankyou also, to all the people and animals who have added on sparkle, even to the dampest of days! Lettie Davis. Make sure some paths are dirt!
I’ve seen places where that quote is attributed to John Muir. Don’t know.
Jeff Hester says
It’s been “mis-attributed” to John Muir many places, usually in a photo with the quote next to it. Here’s what the research says:
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”
I searched for keywords of that text in his books online and on an electronic copy of Muir of the Mountains, and was unable to find it. On rare occasions we find something in Muir’s unpublished journals that is new and which can be verified. So I also did a search of the John Muir Papers at the University of the Pacific, and once again came up empty:
http://www.pacific.edu/Library/Find/Holt-Atherton-Special-Collections/John-Muir-Papers/John-Muir-Collections-.html Widening the search on the Internet, it appears that the quote is frequently attributed to John Muir but is also fairly often just listed as “anonymous” or “Unattributed.” This quote does not sound like anything John Muir would have said. He did not write that way.