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Thematic Essay | Archaeology

The Unhurried Dawn

By Evelyn Hillesum
December 8, 2008
As her mind integrated patterns of life cycle with the synchronization of colors, the primal thread that binds the characters and images in the brain to self-awareness, began to materialize. 
Days of Grace
Days of Grace -Elizabeth Chorale

Within the mosaic pattern of human evolution the origin of woman is carved into the imagery of an ancient and ancestral comprehension of time.

In this long formative period of human life, from about 3.2 to 3.8 million years ago, Australopithecines Gracile, a primate belonging to the distant ancestral human family, survived and flourished, swinging and leaping through an arboreal interlace of branches, leaves, and vines. It had been two million years since Gracile had branched off from the primeval lineage she held in common with her chimpanzee relatives.

Gracile was small and graceful, as she swung from tree to tree, an opposable thumb allowed her to grasp and hold. Primarily a fruit-eater, with front-facing binocular vision, color vision, depth awareness, hand-eye coordination, and the ability to quickly process information, adapt, and learn, she raised her off-spring in a world of dazzling pigments, flowers, leaves, vines, at the center of an interlacing of trees.

After millions of years wrapped in the dreams, colors, and light of the trees, the world of earth, limestone caves, rivers, mountains, and cliffs, opened up the splendid possibilities of a terrestrial way of life, the determination to survive geological and biological changes, and the threat of extinction by predatory animals.

Over the slow human development period, the human lived closely and in harmony with nature, and developed brilliant skills of survival.

In the trees, the focus plane was at the center of nature, cycles of light and shadow, sunrise and sunset, colors and repeating geometric patterns, became the evolutionary substance of human symbolic behavior, modern thought, and tool making skills. In the beginning, in the trees, when Gracile saw her reflection in a pool of water, she was not aware that it was herself.

She watched the changing colors of the sky, sunlight reflecting off of leaves, columns of moonlight, blinking stars, and the movement of stars and planets. The natural interweaving complexity of colors, waves, patterns, and reflections, was her life.

As her mind integrated the patterns of the natural life cycle and the passage of time with the synchronization of colors, patterns, living and playing, the primal thread that binds the characters and images in the brain to self-awareness, began to materialize.

When Gracile moved down out of this world in the sky, survival depended less on the instinctual mind and more on the ability to organize reality. The instinctual imagery that awakens when we sleep, is ancient-ancestral reality awakened.

Woman reinvented herself to survive, but we will never be free of her sky and her branches, or the roots of the great trees. Her journey from the stars and wild flowers down to the earth and the passage of time under the blue canopy of trees, is the beginning of the unhurried dawn.

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