Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently.

John Muir

9 thoughts on “QUOTE – NATURE

  1. In truth, John Muir never wrote this, and the etymology for ‘saunter’ that the ‘quotation’ proposes isn’t accurate. I know this because I got caught by it a year or so ago, and spent entirely too much time trying to track down Muir’s association with the saying.

    Finally, I found this wonderful post from the folks at the Online Etymology Dictionary, which explains things better than I could. The etymology proposed above goes back to Samuel Johnson’s dictionary (1755) and, before him, to Bailey’s dictionary (1724). It’s all very interesting.The words certainly represent the viewpoint of Muir, even if the etymology doesn’t quite make it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t have a clue why I keep getting a blank page, no matter how I search. The link is still there in Google, but it just won’t come up. I did find one of the works that was cited, though. You can see that here. I’ll see if I can find it the original article through another browser. In the meantime — we can both just enjoy the wisdom of the words!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, it looks like the linked page is available now. I’m sorry to mess up your comment section! Delete the chit-chat if you like. And if the link in my first comment doesn’t work for you, I have the article saved now as a document.

    Liked by 1 person

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