Monday, January 21, 2013

Transhumance

Writing about moving South for the winter, CIngrams makes a passing reference to transhumance, and that sets me off on another few minutes' happy diversion through byways on the Internet. I'd known about seasonal movement of herds in the Swiss Alps, but not the ancient and widespread trails through Spain that were followed well into the twentieth century. CIngrams comments, "Now it has gone for good, and good riddance. It was a very tough way to live, but seen from a distance, there is romance and beauty in it."

I wonder whether much of the fidgety irritation of comment and protest on the Internet is related to the cellular instinct in us to roam as our ancestors did. From the Great Rift Valley we wandered out and along the riverbanks and coastlines of the world, reaching Australia maybe 50,000 years ago. We must have eaten a lot of oysters on the way.

Even now, that restlessness is in the bones of bikers like Richard and Longrider. I have it, too - wanting to change house, job, get to know new people, start new projects. In a way, the nomadism hasn't gone, after all.

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2 comments:

Paddington said...

That Wanderlust has been burnt out of me, by too many housemoves, and too much to fix here.

CIngram said...

Glad you found it interesting. I must do a full post on it one of these days.

I travel whenever I can, to other countries, through new villages, along undiscovered paths near the places I already know. It is like breathing to me. I sometimes feel that life is being on the road, and the rest is just waiting around.