What Does “Connection” Mean?


I write a lot about a connection to Nature, but what exactly does that mean? The answer depends on the person responding. Here are examples of what it means to me:

  • It is shivering through the snow, unable to stay inside during the biggest accumulation of the year.
  • It is jumping for joy at the first sign of spring.
  • It is retreating to the shade of a maple tree instead of the air-conditioned house.
  • It is fortifying the den when the leaves begin to fall.
  • It is respecting the potential in any storm.
  • It is being called to the mountains when happiness is needed, like a Baptist going to church.
  • It is bewilderment of witness, awe sparked by creations big and small.
  • It is sharpening the blade to ease the hurt from the cut.
  • It is putting the health of the system before personal comfort or pride, carrying someone else’s trash off the beach during vacation.
  • It is preferring the scent of clean air to that of a detergent’s fragrance.
  • It is wanting to work outside…
    to play outside…
    to sleep outside…
    to be outside.
  • It is understanding the difference between hunting for meat and picking through the freezer isle.
  • It is smiling at the sound of a faraway bird call, visualizing its colors without ever seeing a feather.
  • It is trusting the seed will germinate, then joyfully waiting for the garden to grow.
  • It is staring into the night sky, wanting to see every star.
  • It is opening the windows in all kinds of weather to let in the sounds of rain, wind, and night.
  • It is running from the concrete, the lights, the noise.
  • It is knowing my place on earth; corralling my capabilities; understanding that “because I can” does not mean I should; and quelling an impulse to eliminate all threats and all unpleasant, ugly, slimy, slithery, and creepy things just because …
  • It is cherishing the wisdom in wrinkled skin.
  • It is…
  • It is compassion for myself, accepting that when death comes, life will not end, that somehow, some way, pieces of me will continue to be a part of life on this beautiful, wondrous earth.


No matter what "connection" means to you, once it is caught, it cannot be released.