A bird calls in the rain, I would imagine its feathers are wet. A terrible night to be a bird outside, though I guess it’s a matter of perspective. Maybe it’s better for the bird to be out and about at this hour, in this rain. Maybe its prey are all still, waiting under branches and eaves, waiting for the drops to cease. Maybe its predators are similarly ensconced, biding their time until their nocturnal hunts can again commence. 

Strange to be an animal, but to be one so thoroughly domesticated that I forget what rain does to my fellow creatures. Maybe not forget, per say, but to see a night out in the cold rain as automatically uncomfortable, unpleasant. Something to be avoided, and if experienced, spoken about with firm emphasis on adjectives describing the bad parts of the experience. 

I wonder what my ancestors would have thought. Not my immediate antecedents, but those folks way, way back in the day in the Great Rift Valley. The first several generations of anatomically modern humans. How would they have viewed rain? I’m assuming they had some sort of shelter. Leans to, or tents of some sort. They could have been fairly sophisticated, a proto yurt or early teepee. 

Perhaps the progression of weather was just seen as something so natural it wasn’t assigned their words for good or bad, it just was. It was something to be adapted to, something to account for, but not something to have an opinion of. I would imagine it was pretty cool, from a wonder point of view. Suddenly water just magically fell from the sky. That had to be pretty far out for them. I’m sure they had some pretty interesting mystical explanations. I, and probably every anthropologist ever, would love to know what those stories were.

In the modern day, typing on my computer in my cozy cabin in what would naturally be a pretty inhospitable place, I forget that I am the same as those far distant grandparents. We are the same species, with the same mind and capacities. So easy that fact is to forget with all the bells and whistles of today. 

And when a bird calls in the night, above the patter of the rain and the rustle of the leaves. I wonder how much that bird would prefer to be in my warm home. All the while not even knowing if I truly prefer to be in this warm wooden structure. Perhaps the freedom I associate with winged animals could be accorded those to those of us of the bipedal persuasion- if only we let go of the fetters of civilization, and walked the ancient path of true freedom. 

Perhaps civilization was not the best decision, even with its creature comforts. The freedom of an unbound life might very well be worth the deprivations. Or it could very well suck a big one. The bird will never know an avian civilization, but will I ever know primordial humanity? And if I do, am I prepared to learn what wisdom might be gleaned there? 

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