I’m reading Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death, and Art by Rebecca Wragg Sykes.

I was proud when my brother shared that our genetic history showed 3% Neanderthal, but then, I learned that’s fairly common for those with my ancestry: German, Norwegian, English, Scottish.  

I hadn’t realized how adaptive the Neanderthal were, and how they survived in various landscapes and climates.  

What the book is giving me is even more appreciation for the use of my hands and the ability to form tools from the landscape I inhabit.  I find myself weighing my spoon this morning, noting the texture of oatmeal and fruit, wondering how I might have been led to form the shape of a spoon to hold in my hand.   

I love rocks and will look at them differently.  Could I make a knife that would lead to, and enhance, my survival?

How might I use my environment more creatively and wisely?

When I was a nature guide on Ring Mountain, we made a grocery list as we wound our way through the landscape where the Coast Miwok lived: acorns, quail, soap root, fish and clams from the bay. The Miwok made boats from tule reeds and paddled from Marin to San Francisco.  

We are creative beings, and now we come together to utilize the skills of each of us as we heal division, and embrace in a warmth that creates thermals on which to soar.   

Muir Beach yesterday
Looking up from the beach at a poetry retreat
What do we see in clouds?

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