Our Human Heritage

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Yesterday was as perfect a day as one could ask for – almost, if I don’t count the absence of my wife. But still. Slept until I wasn’t tired and then rose leisurely with no prospect of work other than this brief ten minutes. A slow gentle entry to the day with coffee and breakfast consisting of toasted sourdough bread topped with locally smoked bacon, fresh tomato slices and melted cheese served with berries and fresh yogurt. Gentle conversation as we overlooked the calm blue waters of the Salish Sea (aka Georgia Strait). An eagle flew by at eye height (we were on a deck on the side of a hill) while sailboats drifted lazily along.

Later a trip to the market to buy vegetables and meats and bread all locally grown or made, followed by berry shopping at local growers and lunch at a vineyard. We returned to the deck for a few drinks and wide ranging conversation filled with insight and humour and deep felt friendship and love. A home cooked meal and more talk into the gentle evening. Warmth in the air and between old friends. Nothing accomplished; no great works contemplated or carried out but no conflict either. Sunshine and water and fresh air and friendship. What more could anyone ask?

Really, it sounds like the first world existence of the overfed bourgeois and I suppose it was yet it also had a universal quality too. We observed and reveled in nature and our own comfort, we ate food that had been locally grown and prepared, which we gathered from merchants whom my friends knew by name. It was the life of a community. We shared libations and conversation. We laughed, cried a little too from the joy of shared sadnesses. We discovered some small thing about each other and ourselves that we didn’t know before. We soaked in heat and beauty and peace.

This is the commonality that should bind us together. Instead we humans – so magnificent in our intellect, so rich in our ability to understand and to share things both simple and complex – can find no end of ways to fight and disagree, to hate and to hurt. The very tools that should tie us together – language and the sense of wonder at this glorious world – we use to turn life into a hard scrabble of struggle and conflict. How sad.

But that’s ten minutes.

 

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