The human animal is amazing. We tweet messages around the world at nearly the speed of light from our iPhones and inhabit a solar-powered space station the size of a football field hurtling around the planet at 17,000 miles per hour. Wow!
But go to any bookstore and you’ll find large sections dedicated to “health,” “fitness,” “dieting,” “parenting,” and “relationships.” For all of our progress as a species, what have we forgotten? No other animal out there needs advice on how to rear young or what to eat. Somehow the most basic human needs have become so complicated while the most complicated human creations have become so basic.
Which leads us to wonder, what else have we forgotten? Other animals have these impressive “superpowers.” Elephants can hear with their feet the warning stomps of other elephants 20 miles away, sharks can detect approaching storms and swim to deeper waters, salmon can migrate 900 miles and end up back in the same rivulet they hatched from years before. What can you do?
At the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas they have classes to help you rediscover the lost art of connecting with nature. I’ve seen a bird language presentation, and it was impressive. Once upon a time, we could detect the approach of a predator by listening to the warning calls of robins. We could find food and build shelter and maybe even “listen” to nature and each other in ways we’ve completely forgotten.
Today, we rely on technology to navigate the world, experts to tell us how to parent, and corporations to cook our food. Perhaps it is time to relearn the basics. We might even rediscover our own innate “superpowers” in the process.