Monday, August 15, 2011

Man's Journey Part 1

Today I wandered through some notes I had tucked away in a folder called ‘Research’. I’ve got some interesting stuff in that folder, but today, the paper that caught my attention was all about Man’s Journey from being just another ‘monkey’s uncle’ to ... me ... and the billions of other humans on this planet.

I suppose we all know that humanoids have been around for a long, long time. When I heard about Lucy, discovered so long ago in Africa, I really couldn’t get a grasp of just how old that skeleton was. It seemed about the same as trying to wrap my head around the time line of the dinosaurs, or the creatures that came even before that. Such huge amounts of time did not make any sense to me.

One of the notes I had in this paper was that around 8,000 BC, the last ice age began to end, meaning that sea levels began to rise. Villages located on a shore would eventually have to be abandoned as they were swallowed by the rising water. That made a bit of an impression on me, because my locale went through some relentless flooding this summer. Some abandoned villages have been found under water off the coast of California. All I can think of is, “I hope those people got to higher ground safely.” It’s a kind of connection to them, and it is no longer as important that this all happened about 10,000 years ago.

What else can I try to connect to? Well, 31,000 BC, ‘modern man’ entered North America from Siberia and 50,000 BC, ‘modern man’ expanded from Asia into Australia (to become the aborigines) and into Europe. Okay, I’m not terribly impressed by movement into Europe, but the notes indicate these people probably got to Australia AND North America by island hopping. Can you imagine doing that? Pack up the family and maybe a chicken or two into the boat and set off ... even though you have no idea whether or not there’s any land out there that you can reach. Nobody’s been there before. Or if someone has, then chances are, they didn’t come back. They found a new home, why would they return to the old one? I can kind of relate to that, because my family moved around when I was kid. I never knew where we were going; they just pulled up stakes and wandered off to find something better.

Maybe I don’t need to fully understand the length of time between us, if I can just find some little nugget of a relationship to share with those people, so long ago.

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