Whether we realize it or not, we’re making connections every hour of the day. No, I’m not talking about connecting to new friends on Facebook, hashtagging our posts, or following others on Instagram. The connections I’m referring to are organic, emotional and are a part of our walk through the every day.
My recent read of Alice Water’s memoir, Coming To My Senses made me more aware of the existence of connections in our lives and of their purposes and this is one author who shows how she connects in ways to feed herself in finding her place to be. Waters is a chef, best-selling author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades and Chez Panisse was the beginning of farm to table concept. In her book, she clearly shows her connections—for being a self-described cinephile, her gastronomic delights in her vast travels abroad, and even her seduction for a simple carrot plucked from the organic earth. She writes, “Taste is an incredibly strong sensation – it’s deeper than language. So are touch and smell. And it’s very hard to reach people if they can’t connect with all their senses. The only way I can know whether somebody is really listening, really getting it, is when he or she is eating.” And this her way of connecting to others.
Where we travel and with what passions we follow, our connections to people, places, things and even to ourselves are there to be discovered. Just how many connections you can claim during any given hour of time is a gem that yearns to be unearthed. For example, consider when taking a walk with your best four-legged friend to a nature trail or through your neighborhood, on a warm, bright sunny day, mid-day. Simply walking with your dog can be a lesson in living in the present moment, courtesy of Fido who decides to stop, take a nose-first dive into the cool, damp grass, roll over onto his back and frolic from one side to the other. But you’re in a hurry to get the chore over and you tug at him to get up, telling him we need to go. But all he can do is grin, showing you to stop and ask what’s the rush? You’ll never have exact moments like these again, to take a pause, connect to your surroundings and to those moments.
A walking trail welcomes you and your travels are not an intrusion upon nature, but a beckoning to ground your feet to mother earth. You wave hello to neighbors on a mid-day stroll and ask how they are and if all is okay. Compassion begets kindness. It makes you feel good about yourself in connecting with others. The sun above is strong, enveloping a warm blanket to soothe any aches of the body, mind or spirit while seeing a sky so blue that it makes you believe you can do anything; your possibilities are endless. You reconnect to a spirit you once thought was dormant. You connect to yourself.
Our discovered connections have purposes. They teach, travel with us and act like bridges to help us move forward in our lives. We may not look at a fresh carrot like Waters does, but we have the ability to see our connections as life lessons.
Henry David Thoreau once said, “You only need sit still long enough in some attractive spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns.”