A couple of weeks ago a friend and I visited a museum. There were exhibits from all around the world, all through the ages. We came across a museum volunteer who had a tray full of objects in front of him. These were objects that the public could touch, hold and see up really close. One of the objects on the tray was a really ancient stone axe. Three hundred and fifty thousand years-ancient. And I have held it.
This stone axe was to my eyes, crude and simple. It was smooth and quite sharp, with visible marks of having been formed by another stone. On the one hand it represented something we as humans today have long since grown away from. On the other hand it represents the most remarkable achievement, setting us on the road to becoming who we are today.
Holding the axe and feeling its weight, shape and texture, I started wondering about the people who had made it and used it. Who were they? Were they very different from you and I? What did the men and women talk about as they made and used this axe? On the one hand, images of cave-dwelling, hairy people come to mind. Perhaps they gesticulate and grunt as they chop their meat. On the other hand, I can’t help thinking that they probably were like you and I. Concerned about our children, about our relationships and about our families. They were probably concerned about the dangers and joys of childbirth, getting enough nourishing food for the expectant mothers and about ensuring the children learned enough to survive well and have families of their own. Perhaps they thought about the boredom of repetitive tasks, or the thrills of adventures and danger. My sense is that these people were not so different from you and I.
In a strange way, nothing I have ever seen or touched has ever made me question who I am, and what I am about, as much as this old stone axe. My sense of belonging now stretches much further into the past than it did before, I feel a kinship with these men and women who lived before. I also wonder what they would have made of us. Look at how we treat the earth, and each other, the animals, the fish and the birds around us. Look at how we have distanced ourselves from the world we live in, through building concrete jungles and suburbs.
I am feeling an urge to connect with this deeper, ancient aspect of my own being, and I am preparing to spend a few days in deep meditation. Opening myself up, I will attempt to learn something new about myself as a human being, and as a woman. The sensation of the stone axe on my palm will be my focus of meditation. I’m looking forward to this journey into my past. Blessed Be.
Finding the community of Cycle Harmony has made a huge difference to me. I am delighted to be writing to you from the Red Tent and hope to share thoughts and experiences you recognise, or find useful to ponder upon. I look forward to working with you all in exploring what it is to be women, and hope to hear from you. ~ Vild