“Six degrees of separation” proposes that each of us abides a mere six humans away from every other person on earth. That we might chance-meet anyone in the world with six or fewer mutual connections.
At no time in this modern century have we felt our separation so keenly. Cordoned off from each other by protective gear, mandates, lockdowns. But mostly, by our fear.
In an era of cyber-world preeminence, we have hundreds of Facebook friends, but can count on one hand those we’d invite for dinner or reach out to in an emergency.
Some of us feel not only isolated, but desolated.
Neatly sorted into bins by our vaccination status. Or political identity.
At this very moment — when our country, our world and all of its inhabitants are up to the eyeballs in hot-tempered calamity.
Dear America,Rachel Eliza Griffiths
I pick you up
& you are a child made of longing
clasped to my neck. Iridescent,
lovely, your inestimable tantrums.
I carry you back & forth
from the famine in your mind.
Yet crisis, we are assured, brings opportunity. And while fear may be the big-shot driver, Love will always win the race.
If it’s true that we humans are set apart by a mere six degrees, then the reach of our kinship is limitless. Like the mighty oaks, whose roots form an interlocking system of mutual dependence and interconnection far below the earth’s surface.
“Forest trees have evolved to live in cooperative, interdependent relationships, maintained by communication and a collective intelligence. All the trees (in every forest that is not too damaged) are connected through underground fungal networks. Trees share water and nutrients through these networks and also use them to communicate with each other.Peter Wohlleben
So, too, is the intelligent design of our human biology. Not fashioned merely to facilitate survival – but as exquisite propellent to a thriving human ecosystem.
Nature brings forth an emphatic YES. Yes, yes, yes. Rise up. Express. Create. Dance. Enjoy!
And yes. We may also need to plow through a stack of terror to make it through to the other side. Forgetting in our struggles that Life, herself, is our most formidable coach.
Beside us, to guide us.
Gentle and resilient like water. She affirms her tenacity, her invincibility when confronted with the immovable. Adroitly ‘aikido-ing’ all manner of resistance into acquiescence.
“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield.Lao Tzu
LOVE is the water that seeps away at even the most resolute boulder. Never by coercion, but dedication alone.
Charged with an urgent grace, an engine unseen. A force so commanding, yet utterly still. Speaking universally through the silent tongue of an all-encompassing devotion.
Naturalist, Aldo Leopold, coined the phrase, “Think like a Mountain”: to convey his profound appreciation for the whole-hearted interconnectedness of each element in all ecosystems. Life witnessed from within the entirety of an intricate web that is our natural environment.
The ‘isolated individual’ simply does not exist.
Rather, a global chorus of Oneness – without the slightest obligation for sameness.
Soprano, alto, tenor and bass – singing out the melodious harmonies of cooperation. Each voice, bold and clear, within the diversity of a thousand-voice choir.
“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”Chief Seattle
“Release the old imprints of isolation and separateness, letting them wither and die like a vine that no longer has purpose. Rest in this protected place in which you are nourished. And, in turn, will nourish all others.”Rachel Wooten