Last night was one of those perfect nights for a hike on the trail. Following the previous night’s rain, everything was lush, green and alive. As I meandered along the pathway I couldn’t help but notice how, in a world untouched by man, many of the plants have already become intertwined with each other. The off shoots of the grapevine vines were wrapping themselves around the small trunks of maple trees, spider webs were formed between the branches of small elm trees and ground cover ivy was using the stalks of stronger plants to hoist itself to greater heights, closer to the sunlight.
I marveled at nature’s interconnectedness as plants used the location, height, texture of others to strengthen themselves. The sight was such a juxtaposition to the manicured gardens that I passed on my way to the trails.
As I continued to walk and reflect on my day, I couldn’t help but wonder if we, as a system of educators should be taking a lesson from nature. How often do we reach out and rely on the talents, expertise and advice of others? Do we model ourselves after a natural environment where the overall landscape is intertwined or are we more like a well-groomed garden with individual plants surviving on their own?
What are the barriers (either self-imposed or imposed by the system) to thriving in an environment where we truly believe that we are stronger by being purposefully connected to each other?
Come write with me….