When traveling in countries that are older than your own, why does the age of things seem so fantastic? Maybe it is more the evidence of age, the feeling that others walked in this very spot so long ago? Whatever the reason, it feels good to take a few moments and contemplate the lives of another time.
In most European countries that I have visited, the architecture screams out the period it was built in. In fact, the date is usually inscribed somewhere on the truly old buildings. Us newbies from the West of North America stand in awe.
But when you look closely at history, the actual facts, Calgary had pre-Clovis people roaming her plains 11,000 years ago. But they didn’t leave any buildings and their oral history leaves no evidence of having ever been there. And archeologists from around the globe can’t agree to most of the history. That is a shame, because their way of life was very different. What might we learn from their techniques of living off the land and in harmony with nature? Why did the Clovis people die out?
There was certainly adaptations made by the time Europeans arrived. But was there evolution of humans as well? Probably. Yet still we marvel at a church built 500 years ago in London. Interesting creatures we are, modern mankind. The collective wisdom from our long ago ancestors doesn’t survive the test of time.
This summer, I drove along many prairie roads and trails. I had not considered how old the land was in context of humans. A young Clovis woman from 12,500 years ago could have walked in my exact route. But it was not until I travelled all the way to Europe that I could fully appreciate what I take for granted back home. In a weird way, that alone was worth the trip.