Why Are Connections In Nature Important?

As I begin this series of blogs on connections in Nature, it is appropriate to ask why this is such an important topic. Why should you care enough to spend time reading these blogs? The answer is that connections in nature are the very basis for our existence as living creatures on this earth. While Nature’s connections can be viewed as aesthetic and spiritual ideas, these connections are also physically real. We depend on them to live. And the destruction of these connections will lead to the ultimate destruction of life on earth.

I’ve talked about connections in an earlier post . There, I tried to show connections in Nature from the three world views of the aesthetic, the spiritual, and the analytic. For, in approaching the subject through all three lenses, we get to “know” Nature.

By “knowing” Nature, we are able to observe and understand how Nature is connected. It means knowing our interrelationships – those vital connections with our surroundings. And, by knowing Nature, we are able to sustain and to survive.

Unfortunately, most of our contact with nature is in passing. We drive by. We take a glimpse. We get a quick emotional “fix”. Nothing more. We are not connecting. There is no true immersion. We are not totally engaged in the moment. We are ready to move on rather than linger a while. We are preoccupied with daily living. We are not beholding Nature. While we may have a feeling for Nature or know some facts about Nature, we do not really “know” Nature.

But yet, to understand about connections in Nature, we need to learn how to behold Nature. Beholding Nature’s vital connections requires the discipline of setting other things aside and searching for connections. This series of blogs will talk about about beholding Nature. In addition I  suggest that you read a very helpful book by Joseph Cornell called “Listening To Nature – How To Deepen Your Awareness Of Nature“.

With every blog post, I’ll be offering a real example of a connection in Nature. In this post, I note Nature’s essential connection with the sun. Most of us know that the sun’s energy is vital to our survival on earth. That energy is both the light that sustains us as well as the gravitational pull that holds us in an orderly orbit at just the right distance from the sun’s heat. These two energy forms are connecting forces within Nature that are invisible. It is only indirectly that we can sense them. The retinas in our eyes sense light energy in its reflected form. Our skin feels the winds that circulate our earth’s atmosphere and are caused by solar energy. We see gravitational energy in how things position themselves. These light energy and gravitational connections work together to produce our massive ocean currents that ultimately sustain life by circulating nutrients and by producing rain. Through these processes, we can immediately see the connections to another vital and unifying essential of life – water.

Being invisible connections in Nature, light and gravity are great ways to behold Nature. Set aside your personal distractions for a while. Acquire a quiet spirit and sit within a forest, or by a shore, or next to a mountain. With your body relaxed and your mind free of distractions, contemplate the connecting forces of light and gravity and  how each observation or sensation is connected to another because of the sun.

Feel the breezes and think about how these gentle winds are connected with the sun’s energy. Absorb the warmth of the sun’s energy. Focus on how this energy becomes a tree. Look at the position of a rock or a mountain. How did it get there? Think about how the breeze that originates from the sun’s energy affects the life of the bird you are seeing. How does that breeze help the bird acquire food?

If you are enjoying a seashore or an estuary, think about how the sun’s gravitational pull affects the ocean currents and tides that transport nutrients that are ultimately consumed by your bird. Consider the beauty of a storm center. How does the sun’s light and gravitational pull help create such fearsome energy? And, how does that storm cell help nourish the bird?

In future posts, I will be discussing many aesthetic, spiritual, and scientific ideas about these kind of connections in Nature. You might be interested in pursuing this subject by way of my new eBook called “Nature’s Patterns – The Art, Soul, and Science of Beholding Nature“.

Thanks for reading this blog post. The purpose for these blogs is to develop a dialog between myself and my readers. You are encouraged to offer your comments in the space provided below.

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My name is Bill Graham. As a Marine Biologist who has worked in the US and Mexico for 30 years, I am a student of Nature, a teacher, a researcher, and a nature photographer. Through my work, I have acquired an ever growing passion for how everything in Nature is connected. Today, I travel extensively contemplating about, writing about, and photographing Nature’s connections. I also work with conservation projects in the USA and Mexico and mentor talented youth.

5 Responses to “Why Are Connections In Nature Important?”

  1. Much power in this post – the power that nature has through all its connections, and the power within the human mind if we allow it to notice our surrounds.

    These words here intrigue me: “Unfortunately, most of our contact with nature is in passing. We drive by.” Interestingly, I’m not a photographer, but visit a few blogs by photographers. I say this because many of them have the knack for seeing what many (if not most) of us have missed.

    Outstanding post … Meanwhile, in my way of thinking, I see a connection with my post today. http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/on-the-universe/

  2. @Frank – Thanks so much for sharing your blog post, Frank. Perhaps the most profound part of your post is Tyson’s comment “We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.”

    This quote beautifully expresses our connection with everything in Nature.

  3. @Bill Graham – Great that we are in sync today. @Bill Graham

  4. Thank you for sharing. You share some great ideas and thoughts about why nature is so important not just to our physical health, but to our emotional and spritual health as well.

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