Ecological engagement is about connection. When you look forward and back, when you look left and right you are only beginning to connect to where you are. Engaging all of your senses, those described by science and those that have been known to people for thousands of years, leads to a deeper relationship with your place in the world.
Where are you? What is your connection to the environment that you inhabit at this moment? What is your presence doing to impact the balance of life and matter?
It takes practice and conscious effort to do more than see the world around you. Every experience must be appreciated as an opportunity to build a relationship. The rock to your left can be known as an erratic dropped by a glacier 10,000 years ago or a driveway marker placed next to the street by a guy who was tired of people cutting the corner. Knowing it as both creates a deeper understanding of the connections that exist across time and place.
An essential element of ecological engagement is the human connections that are discovered and developed. Whether it be a new understanding of who we are as individuals or who we are together there is always an environment that shapes and frames our relationships.
When ecological engagement is at its highest level there is an effort on the part of people to shape their environment in a way that strengthens and builds relationships among all elements in a balanced way. What we experience around us matters and what we do to shape our world shapes our experience with it.
There are many paths that lead in different directions. There is no right path. There is only the right way of being on that path, a mindset of connectedness, a spirit of generosity, and body that is tuned to the experience. Each step or minute spent still attempted in authentic openness to the power of relationships is done as an act of ecological engagement. When we open ourselves to the power of the relationships we have with our environment and each other we become who we are meant to be.
We shape our world. Our world shapes us. It is a reciprocal relationship.