We Are All Connected

Leonardo da Vinci rendering of a tree

I heard a story this week that illuminates the connection we have to one another. Aspen trees, I am told, appear to be separate towers in wooded forests but are, in fact, connected at their roots. The trees create an entire root system and form a colony of trees.

The story-teller marveled at the unseen forested connection and challenged us to think about the connections we all share.

Truth is, I would rather think about such connections than hear that my sins have been forgiven: a story often retreaded this time of the year. I prefer to contemplate how we are all connected, perhaps in ways that escape the obvious and visible. How is that we share colonies?

We are connected at a structural level, forcing us to confront our relations with one another and with the dirt, air and water that nourish us.

Even my pup finds connections: we are entwined at a visceral level, reading signs in each other’s body language. I know when he is hungry; he knows when I am sad.

And my man: he finishes my sentences. We breathe in unison. We are aspens.

May your holidays be rich with aspens. I wish for you a peaceful Christmas day and wondrous new year. May you find your forest.


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in authenticity, Uncategorized, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to We Are All Connected

  1. Uncle Tree says:

    I think I have, Cynthia. 🙂
    Peace to you today, and
    I pray the new year treats you well.

    Cheerz! From the majorly entwined Uncle Tree


  2. Bravo for fighting the good fight…I grew up both in the U.S. and overseas, so I have tasted the bitter fruit of conflicting self-identities…still, I can’t regret the experiences I gained abroad. (& p.s., I’ve linked to your blog) RT


  3. Well described, Cindy. As an Oregonian, the forest metaphor rings true for me. I never felt more reverent, more whole, more connected to a larger existence than when standing atop Timberline ski area, admiring our beautiful air, lakes, forests, and holding my husband’s hand. We are part of it all. Thanks.


  4. Hello, I found your site when I googled my name, or our names 😀 .


  5. Aspen trees – so much more attractive than that mega fungus covering hundreds of acres in the Wallowa forests. It’s awfully hard to remember we are all connected when some of us are willing to hurt others of us. Some people are trying so hard to get their own needs met that they can’t even see the needs of those around them. Our project is a way that we can help meet some of the most basic needs for some folks. Every little bit helps. With clean water,there are people who can live with less fear and sickness, who can spend more time improving their lives, rather than just barely surviving. And with warm blankets. people can sleep better and wake more rested to face their days.


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