On most days during the summer months I can be found in my kayak, paddling one of the many waterways of central Lincoln, NE. One of the best trips of the past summer was an adventure I took with two friends on the middle branch of the Crow River. It was a wonderful outing on generally calm water, under a heavy gray sky. Despite the threat of rain the three of us were eager to put our boats in and get under way. We were well prepared for rain, a long outing and the adventure. This part of the river is twisting  and changing, at times open and at other times narrow and dense with reeds. At times our route took us through tall marsh grass where we could see no further than the next bend. Each turn brought us new adventure, new possibilities and an excitement to explore further.

I love being out in nature. Whether it be in my kayak exploring new water ways or in a comfortable pair of hiking boots traversing through dense woodlands, up steep mountain sides or through canyons and badlands, this is where I find my peace, my deepest connections. It is here that I am in sync with nature, and with my spiritual base. Sharing these moments with my friends is very special to me as it is akin to sharing my very soul. I connect with my friends in spirit, in our love of nature and adventure, in our conversation, and in our support for each other. We all work together as a team to support each other and to help each other to succeed. We are conscious of each other, each others comfort, each others safety, and of empowering each other with the ability to be successful as an individual. It is this unspoken, but communal support that allows each of us to relax, become connected and fully enjoy the moment before us.

In friendship we seek connection. Fulfilling connections stem from a base of trust. Trust is built over time through many interactions and ultimately the continued and predictable display of sincere and caring communications that supports, nurtures and empowers. How does this  relate to our relationship with man’s/woman’s best friend, our companion dogs? The very term companion dog, lays insight to what we seek from our relationship with our dogs. In seeking companionship we seek comfort, nurturing, support and undying loyalty. Our dogs are so willing to offer this, but we must earn it as we do with any other relationship we enter. We must offer this if we seek to receive this. This means acknowledging their needs and acting upon them as readily as we do our own, giving to them the support, the guidance and the convicted loyalty that we would have from those who call us friend.

We all seek connections. In fact we crave them, and we need them. Connections with each other, with our companion animals, with nature and the world around us and with our spiritual base. It is through our connections that we grow, help others grow and grow as friends and as a community. To truly become connected with one another in a harmonious and mutually joy filled relationships we must look beyond ourselves and our needs, and into the needs and spirit of our companions. To be truly connected with each other we need first to be connected with ourselves, our emotions, or joys and our pains, our virtues and our non-virtues,  and we need to connect with our spiritual base. We grow together as we grow individually, emotionally, intellectually, and even more so, spiritually. As quoted by E.M Forster “Only Connect”. Words to live by. May all our actions and interactions support trusted connection.

May you be blessed with connections filled with love, joy and nurturing,


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