Whether one wants to characterize it as “God-given” or “natural,” our ability to do things and our desire to do them are based mainly upon our nature. If many of us find it comforting to stay inside, rest, and sleep during cold, stormy periods, is it nature at work?
Is our nature saving us from the urge for activity? Does it make us save our energy for when we need it? That seems logical. It seems that nature would want us to preserve our energy when rain and inclement weather were afoot. Historically, when it rained heavily, humans stayed inside to tend duties inside the home, and tried to avoid going outside except when necessary.
Pacing about our lair impatiently would be a bad use of our resources. Mother Nature would want us to lie down, rest and await the return of the sunshine.
IS OUR ability to relax tied to our knowledge that predators don’t hunt during heavy rain? That’s my personal theory. We are not a fierce animal. We are a cunning animal. We know that the predators of nature which might hunt us would not likely be hunting in the rain. Our personal lair should be safe. As long as we have a home that is high and dry, and that isn’t easily invaded, we can feel safe and secure. After the rain ends, it’s a whole new world, though. We have to go out, ready to face the world.
I believe that many of our urges are programmed within us, not so much as thinking humans, but as animals who must exist in a world that can be threatening. It hasn’t been that long ago our ancestors were constantly threatened by creatures which could attack and drag off a family member.
We are less than 150 years removed from the pioneer days of the country. Bears, wolves, mountain lions and coyotes threatened families and animals. In the rivers and lakes, there were alligators and poisonous snakes. These were real dangers, which families have faced throughout human history. Our deep-seated fears are attached to our history as humans. We naturally fear beasts which can attack us and carry us away for a meal.
Many of our favorite scary tales are based upon the quite natural fear that we will be attacked and consumed by some malevolent creature. These tales were told to children long ago, to keep them from wandering too far from the home, too far from the camp fire.
That’s why home is where we think of ourselves as most safe. When it’s rainy and cold, that’s when nature tells us to settle in and chill out.
© 2010, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved.
Jim “Pappy” Moore is a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his home. firstname.lastname@example.org