If one day I see a small bird and recognize it, a thin thread will form between me and that bird. If I just see it but don't really recognize it, there is no thin thread. If I go out tomorrow and see and really recognize that same individual small bird again, the thread will thicken and strengthen just a little. Every time I see and recognize that bird, the thread strengthens. Eventually it will grow into a string, then a cord, and finally a rope. This is what it means to be a Bushman. We make ropes with all aspects of the creation in this way.
-San Bushman, as quoted by Jon Young, What the Robin Knows.
Connecting matters. The soul knows that we are all kin, and it seeks to form the threads and ropes that bind us together to creation, with it's mystical origins and evolutions. Connecting to each other, but also to the natural world and creatures around us, helps us repair our relationships to ourselves and to one another. It broadens our scope of vision and makes more room for differences, and yet honors our sameness: our drives to be fed and full, well-exercised, and furthering the goodnesses of life.
The old ones remind us how to make the ropes, if we can only sit still to watch and learn.