The Wonder of Connection

by Nancy Rosenow, Executive Director of the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.

A few years ago our Research Director, Dana Miller, gave me an impactful essay she had written titled “Legacy of the Aspens.” Here’s a part of it:

The wonder of the Aspens is their interconnectedness. The largest grove of Aspens in the U.S. covers approximately 106 acres in Utah – 47,000 trees. This expansive grove is, in reality, one living organism – all of the trees stem from one original tree. This is possible because Aspens reproduce through their roots. As their roots grow and spread, additional trees spring up. In essence, the original tree gives life over and over again.

 A single Aspen tree’s impact extends far beyond its lifetime. The Aspen’s legacy is the life it gives – all of the trees that grow because of the original tree’s roots. The trees that spring up outlive the single, original tree and similarly continue to reproduce, but all of the growth remains connected to that first tree as the growth multiplies.

 I think this same principle applies to the work we do as we help children enjoy enriching connections with the natural world as part of their daily learning. We have no idea the far reaching affect each child’s strengthened sense of wonder and feelings of stewardship will have on future generations. We have no idea how one idea we shared – perhaps even through this online community – will impact others and begin to grow as it spreads and strengthens.

We are all connected – through this good Earth we share, through our love and concern for the children in our lives, and through our interest in each other’s ideas. I look forward to learning and growing together with all of you. I can’t wait to see what new growth will come from our interconnectedness.


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