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  • Nora Koch

Primitive People and me

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

April 30, 2018


Back in the late 1980s I walked every night for a couple of miles from my house in the country. As the season wound into winter the light failed and I walked in the dark. I was fearless then. One night on a foggy night I met two dogs in the dark, a German Shepard and an Irish setter. My sister, who knew them, later told me they were dangerous. It was so dark that they suddenly appeared in front of me out of nowhere. Then, as if a voice came out from the back of my head, much louder and with more force than I could muster, I ordered them to go home. I heard them click, click, click as they ran away down the road. Then I turned around and went back home.


One night as I started out, north as usual, it suddenly occurred to me that the tail end of the big dipper had moved around in the sky over the passage of nights I had been walking. Of course, I knew intellectually that this happened – there was nothing new about this information. The difference was that I’d experienced it. I had not been keeping track of the movement of the big dipper; I suddenly realized that it had moved over time. I felt kinship with the people who constructed Stonehenge; wondering how they felt when they realized the heavens moved.




There is speculation that Stonehenge might have been constructed to somehow ensure that light would not go out completely; that spring would come. Those of us who live in Wisconsin pride ourselves in going through the long, dark winter, but we can only do that knowing winter will eventually end. This year I felt kinship with the primitives again as winter refused to relent to spring. I began to think about how awful it would be if it didn’t. Ice ages have come and gone here, what if we were suddenly at the beginning of a new one? I was in the process of reading Dante’s Divine Comedy, in which Hell is frozen, not burning. Having everything remain frozen would be hellish. The movie, The Day After Tomorrow, came to mind. God promised us there would not ever be another huge flood, but he didn’t promise us there would never be unrelenting winter.


I truly did begin to get anxious about spring returning.

It has. Praise God! 

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