There was once a Golden Age that was told of in children’s books when humans, animals and even the plants shared a common language. This was the lingua franca of the Wild.
In almost everyone of these tales, this age of the shared voice had either ended or was coming to an end. The storytellers evoked a wistful longing for this pre-Eden time and we looked back with great longing and infinite sadness for what once was.
Perhaps though, Tolkien and Lewis and Blyton were mistaken when they drew a line under this Age, perhaps they forgot to talk with the Aboriginal and the American Indian, they certainly never sat with the Bushman around his fire in the Kalahari.
These ancient people would gently smile at our conception of a world in which non human life utters sounds that are mechanic and unconscious.
They would ask why we cannot hear all of life sharing wild gossip from every branch and blade of grass. They would look askance at our vestigial and limited linguistic perceptual fields and wonder why we were so constrained by alphabets and grammar.
A Bushman needs no vowels or consonants to talk with the Eland, he simply becomes the Eland. He asks her a question; “What would you do Eland person?” Then he listens, very deeply and quietly and the answer will come to him.
One does not need words when you see into the heart of the great antelope and can reach inside with your own animal spirit.
So this is the good news, the Golden Age of the common language is not dead, in fact she did not even sleep, we simply stopped listening as our heads, hearts and eyes gradually turned downwards towards the written page and now the digital letters of the phone and the tablet.
Right now there is a symphonic natural conversation taking place, I think I shall go and eavesdrop under a twisted pine that I know.
Will I see you there?
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up? Get the best stories from The Good Men Project delivered straight to your inbox, here.
Photo: The Great Eland. Courtesy of the author.