Robert W. Flournoy

EARLY LESSONS

… hunters move through the field and forest with impunity; they are the only ones with guns. A good hunter will sometimes position himself in a comfortable spot, blending into the environment, and wait for game. He will be aware of the moving air and which direction it carries his scent so that that very wind is his ally. If there is no wind, then he will watch the forest, looking and listening for movement against the stillness. The wind becomes the quarry’s friend when it can move with the swaying grass and leaves, and disguise its’ sound of travel in the background noise of the moving air. When a hunter is also being hunted by his quarry, a nemesis with a gun instead of fangs, the wind becomes his worst enemy. Millions of years of evolution tell him that those hunting him are using the wind to stalk him silently, swirling their scent, moving with the dance of the trees, careful feet muffled by the noise of the wind. Early humans would take to their caves and trees when the breezes stiffened, nervous and fearful of their silent stalkers. Jungle fighters don’t move at all when the wind is up; they hunker down, watch and wait. The highest rates of suicide are in windy places. We are most at rest in the early morning when our genetic fabric is telling us that our ancestor’s fanged night stalkers have retired to their dens.