From my earliest memories, I have felt both connected to and overwhelmed by the world around me. The roaring wind. The vast sea. The limitless reaches of the sky. This sense of connection is one of the things that first drew me to Druidry. I do not claim to be an avid outdoorsman, because I'm not (although sometimes I want to be), but I do attest to a feeling of continuity with nature.
I am not quite finished reading Emma Restall Orr's The Wakeful World, but I can say that her argument for animism makes sense to me, and puts a context around this feeling of connectedness. As she presents it, animism is the idea that all of nature is minded. Everything, even the things we don't perceive as animate, has some sort of perception and a place in the vast grandeur of nature.
I will have more thoughts on this soon, but I want to finish the book before I say too much. For now, I can say that it provides an elegant philosophical basis for pagan religion, and can enrich one's practice.