I know now more than ever that I need (NEED) this connection with nature. And it’s not just nature I have to be connected to – it’s my body. As I said to Simon today, I feel truly blessed to have the body I do – one that is strong and healthy and never lets me down. But I have to work it and make it got through its paces in order to feel fully connected to it. When I do make it work – stretch, use its muscles and its lung capacity – make it stretch in all sorts of ways – that’s when I truly understand what a miracle this body is. And that’s when I feel doubly and triply blessed to possess this marvel.
My body, after all, is also nature. Everything is connected to everything. The problem is that sometimes I feel disconnected. I suspect we all do. Nothing disconnects me faster from the world and all that I am a part of than spending too much time indoors – too much time in front of my computer. But that is the deadly lure for us these days – the illusion of connection through our electronic gadgets (and don’t get me wrong – I appreciate them) when real connection requires that we put those gadgets down.
I think about human connection. I always feel better when Simon and I really connect in conversation or in play or being out together hiking in nature. But on many days, he does his thing on his computer while I do mine. And a lot of what we do is creative and gratifying – it’s work – beautiful work. But we also get lost in “social media.” And that is a paradox of connect and disconnect.
I fear that many of the problems we face in our modern world are a direct result of this disconnection. We think we are connected to the world through our gadgets. We think we know all about people around the world. But it isn’t until we walk out into the world and personally come to know others that we truly understand them and create a connection that matters.
I am grateful that I have had a chance to do as much travelling as I have – that I have been to India and Afghanistan and Israel and to many other countries – that I have met so many people – that I understand that all those strangers out there want exactly what I do in life – that we are brothers and sisters. We all want to find meaning, purpose and love. We want a better world for our children.
And so every day, I aim to strengthen my connections – with those I love and with nature. My nature connection is imperative for my well-being. Some of the times I have been most connected and most content (maybe not most comfortable) have been with Simon, out in the mountains, with a tent on our backs.