After the storm of Wednesday night, the next morning dawned red, casting an unusual light all around me at sunrise. The forest suddenly looks so different to me that it doesn't seem possible it's the same place I know so well. For me, seeing a few minutes of this other worldly color is a bit like taking a small vacation, perhaps one to a Mars where they have trees. The strange tones don't last long, of course, and it isn't long before the forest looks like itself again.
As humans, we think of dark places as gloomy, of bright places as happy, fog as mysterious, and for a few minutes this red light even feels like an imagined Martian landscape. The birds and animals in the forest don't seem to notice or care that everything is suddenly red, so I think this sense that a different light creates a different atmosphere or sense of place is a particularly human experience.
Animals don't pay much attention to light or even weather, at least not in the way humans do. A severe storm sends animals scurrying, but that's about it. They certainly aren't fair weather creatures in the way that we humans tend to be. Was it always so, I wonder? How much of our aversion to rain or wind or heat (or cold) is a cultural construct that tells us that's how we should behave. Is our aversion simply another way of saying that we are wealthy enough to have a place to go to get inside and get away from all that? And yet, I dream of a time where humans were more comfortable in their surroundings, where a little rain or a little wind or a little heat wasn't enough to drive us inside and separate us even more from the world around us.
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