It is a wild winter night tonight and the snow is still being driven across the Fens by the wind, if a little less heavy than it was earlier on. I have a strong urge to take myself for a walk out there, wrapped up warm of course, but just so I can get some cleansing lung-fulls of cold Northern air.
Nights like this are for experiencing the pure elemental forces of nature. It doesn’t have to be dangerous but it does make my organismic self (note the spelling of that word!) feel fully alive when I get out and connect myself with wild winds and weather. It’s what I miss most of all about not living by the sea any more, especially at this time of year. On a fierce stormy night it’s the most exhilarating thing to howl into the night and find yourself morphing and blending into the roar of the waves and the screaming winds… especially during a moon eclipse!
But after a snow storm like tonight there is the silence to follow. I love the peaceful quiet in the dead of night when the snow blankets everything and you can hear the smallest crunch of ice crystals and nothing else for miles around. I would love to hear that tonight too.
The feeling I get when I am connecting with nature in this way seems very primal to me, like it connects into a deeply buried ancestral memory hardwired somewhere in my brain. I get in touch with what I call my ‘hominid self’ which is all a bit complicated to go into at the moment – but I’ll post something else about it another time for anyone who’s interested. Anyway, imagine that you were around 50,000 years ago and it’s snowing really badly or there is a terrible drought and you need food. What do you do? I’m continually challenged/intrigued/exhilarated by this question because I think it goes to the essence of what makes us human. Not only that but I very much believe, that our capacity for survival as a species is fundamentally hardwired into the way in which our hominid brains can creatively find solutions, calculate risks, interpret patterns and subtle changes in nature, co-operate, innovate, communicate, teach and learn.
I like to imagine/remember a time when my own ancestral Eve walked the earth some 50,000 years ago. Maybe he (my ancestral Eve is also a ‘Two Spirit’ of course) was out in a night like tonight thinking nothing of the barely sub-zero temperatures we’re worried about travelling in. Maybe he went out to take advantage of a Full Moon for hunting. Maybe he was sensibly lying on a warm straw and fur bed in front of a roaring fire at the centre of a shelter made from elk or reindeer hides and birch bark. Maybe he’d given shelter and some of his meat to the exhausted and injured He-Wolf he’d heard sniffing around his camp when he was cooking that evening. Maybe they became friends…
That would be another story another night!