“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
When I read this particular quote by John Muir I find that I am asking myself a question: am I living in such a way that I am benefiting this web of all creation? After I recite these words, I marvel at their truth. Take a solitary pine tree for instance, is it solitary? Are there not birds nesting upon its branches? Or squirrels circling its trunk? Is the tree itself not producing vital oxygen? Are the birds and the squirrels not giving the tree its essential carbon dioxide? Nothing, solitary as it may seem, ever is.
We are all connected with nature in a much deeper way: our memories. For me no place holds greater memories than California’s Sierra Nevada. A mountain range that has defined my very being and taught me that nature is a way of making connections, especially with oneself and God. I have learned how to make these connections anywhere in nature, and even outside of “nature.”
I was on a long afternoon ride among the country roads, happy to be free of my allergies and the stress of the week. There was not anything to special about this ride; I was alone, the roads were quiet, the air warm with a cool breeze. Suddenly I was in Yosemite. The backcountry, the solitude, the beauty, the connections. The memory was not brought on by pictures or writing, it was the smell. Pine needles basking in the warm afternoon sun. That indescribable smell that flows all throughout the Sierra Nevada. Trail lunches under the shade of huge branches at the banks of a trickling creek; no one is around, it is you and your connections. In that moment you truly are connected, to everything around you. Here I stand, making those connections again; a reunion.
As I clip my foot back into the peddles I remember: Yosemite, I will be there soon.
I encourage you to stand outside and fell connected to everything. Recognize the impact you have on everything around you. More importantly the impact everything has on you.