With my big ball of string.
My mother will come
When she hears the bell ring.
And THEN she will see
How I say in my bed
With my strings,
And my things,
And my cold in the head!
from A Big Ball of String
written and illustrated by Marion Holland
Random/Beginner Books, 1958
John Lennon said it: Then all the world will live as one.
Raffi said it: One light, one sun, one sun lighting everyone.
Connections are everywhere.
Some visible, some invisible. Some steel, some gossamer. Some finite, some infinite. Connections are necessary.
Back in about Fall 1981, I felt small and unimportant and useless. I don’t know why. Attitude, perspective, bad weather maybe. I took myself to my beautiful neighborhood park and sat on the ground under my favorite tree and thought about stuff. Why clouds were so dark. Why birds flew south. Why leaves fall. Why ants march in a line.
For something to do, I encouraged an ant to march out of its position and onto a fallen leaf. Then I moved it across my lap and planted it by itself, far from its familiar surroundings. It just crawled away. Maybe it didn’t care. Maybe it didn’t even notice. After all how big is an ant brain, anyway?
But my thoughts changed that afternoon. Less inward and reflective. More outward and curious. Maybe that ant became food for some other hungry insect. Maybe it started a new colony. Maybe it carried some needed pollen to a starving flower. I made a difference, a connection to a much larger biosphere, in a very small way.
Although I traveled lightly into that forest; I carried no plastic water bottle, no extra sweater, not even a book for distraction or learning, I felt heavy. When I picked up something as light as an ant on a leaf and set it down, and made a difference, I set down my heavy thoughts, too. My connections lightened me.
Paying attention to my people connections, my spiritual connections, and my garden connections will be this year’s work.
After all, even if that ant *did* just crawl away, it had an adventure!