Hi. Thanks for the visit. This morning, before the cloud cover returned, four of these folks were back. They spent fifteen or twenty minutes standing almost completely still in the sunshine on the hillside. If they were cats, they might have been curled up and purring. I know I could use time curled up with a good book in a quiet corner in the sun. Maybe an opportunity to do that will present itself before the Summer's over. Then you might be able to hear me purr. I've been wondering more and more if other animals are actually all that different than us human animals. Let me clarify that. I've been wondering if animals have an internal life and, if they do, how much like ours might it be? For example, I've read that animals "live in the present" and so they don't worry. This makes me question how we think we know that animals aren't subject to time. Don't we seem to have difficulty understanding ourselves, let alone putting ourselves in someone else's shoes? The current issue of Poetry magazine is full of photos of current Afghanistan and stories about and poetry from those living there. It made me appreciate my accident of birth. It made me wonder how, in the 21st century, humans live and think as many do. I also realized though, that no matter how I might think, my feelings are comparable to those experienced by all humans, all over the world, for all times. The more we learn about the world we live in, the more we find other animals using tools and communicating and being clever. Perhaps those of us in "first world countries," on our [all too rare] best days have, in an evolutionary sense, become the equivalent of prepubescent youth, while others are still functioning at the level of the "terrible twos." Perhaps other species reached ecological maturity some time ago and we humans, being literally the new kids on the block, have a lot of growing up to do. Maybe as we mature, we'll learn to more readily live in the present. How's that life thingy working out for ya? Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served daily here at My Minnesota.