Happy (Belated) 115th Birthday, Muir Woods!

It’s ‘unbe-leaf-able’ just how long Muir Woods has been around — and it remains one of the most ancient forests in Northern California.

Muir Woods National Monument was the first National Park I visited when I came to the Bay Area in 2015. It’s a ritual of sorts I honor when planting new roots in a new city: wandering through nearby greenspaces to encounter episodes of solace — bouts of illuminating tranquility that juxtapose the sudden shock of finding oneself inside an unexplored concrete jungle. Biophilia, the innate human instinct to connect with nature and other living beings around us, has held an evergreen precedent in my life; there’s a childhood picture of me embracing a large oak tree outside a park in Irving, Texas at three years old, looking up in awe toward its expansive canopy that’s on the bedside stand in my mother’s house.

Muir Woods stands as one of the Bay Area’s finest places to communion with Mother Nature, bar none. And it just recently turned 115 years old.

“Muir Woods is celebrating our 115th anniversary,”  reads a tweet from Muir Woods NPS (National Park Service) on January 9—the official birthday of the wooded 554-acre expanse. “However, this forest has been here for even longer than that. The Coast Miwok were taking care of this ancient forest for thousands of years before the NPS.”

Though I consider myself to have quite the silver tongue, I wager to say that no string of adjectives I could possibly tie together around redwood growths could match these sentences penned (typed?) by American marine biologist Sylvia Alice Earle:

“Look at the bark of a redwood, and you see moss. Peer beneath the moss, you’ll see toads, small insects, a whole host of life that prospers in that miniature environment. A lumberman will look at a forest and see so many board feet of lumber. I see a living city.”

May we all find ourselves inside such sentiment metropolitans this year.

HBD, Muir Woods! Love ya, babe. Hope to hug you soon.

Feature image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, via Marty Aligata

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