Thoughts on nature connection
I have been pondering for some time the question of what nature connection really is and whether being in a specific place is necessary to “do it”. Whilst a vibrant wilderness is undoubtedly the most supportive place to get in touch with the natural world, in my opinion this kind of environment is only part of the what brings a deep connection to life.
Sitting in the concrete jungle, at a busy traffic intersection, with barely a tuft of grass in sight — can we touch nature there? There is still the breeze (albeit full of fumes), still the earth (albeit covered with tarmac), still the singing of the birds, perhaps (albeit drowned out by the metallic roar of cars). Sitting at home on the carpet with painted walls on all four sides, there is still the lonesome pot plant, the water in the cup and the cotton in the clothes folded neatly in the cupboard. All these things, and in fact any thing, can evoke a connection to nature, depending on the way we look at them, the way we relate to them.
I am not saying that they are a substitute for the wilds, or for the rugged mountains, or for the vast oceans. Nothing can replace the way these places speak to the human mind and heart about the richness, diversity, community and wholeness of natural systems. But the primary tool is always the human heart and mind.
A person who knows how to see nature and the qualities of natural harmony (or their absence) in all things is one who is connected to nature. Such a person understands how to help the wisdom and the life-giving capacity of nature to grow and flourish wherever he or she finds themselves.
Yet the untamed brilliance and mystery of nature remains the final and ultimate teacher and guide, drawing us deeper into connection if we are humble and open enough to listen and to receive guidance.