Recently the Food for Thought group (which meets every Tuesday morning at 11:30) watched a documentary instead of discussing a book. The documentary was The Cave of Forgotten Dreams. It showed the astounding, jaw-dropping animal paintings on the walls of a cave in France. Carbon-dating has placed the works somewhere between 28-30,000 years ago. They are not “primitive” stick figures, but full three-dimensional portrayals of lions, horses, rhinoceros, fighting bulls, and other creatures, with movement conveyed. As the narrator commented, one could almost hear the sound of the bulls’ horns connecting. In one section, the heads and necks of three horses are portrayed, each with different expressions, different personalities. In another, a cave lion is about to pounce. It is six feet long, yet the proportions are perfect, as is the depiction of that pause before pounce, when the cat’s rear is slightly up, the shoulders ready to spring. All this, done 28,000 years ago.

We discussed what was missing from the panels: no humans, no story line of hunt or conquest, no religious connotation, no reason to be there except……. Why? Why did the artist draw them? Why were they honored (the honor shown by being allowed to remain)?

Perhaps part of the answer is that we all have a basic, inner need to share the wondrous. The beauty of horses galloping, a mountain lion prepared to pounce, bulls fighting. Once years ago I took part in a charity run-walk with my dog. I had planned on taking part in the run, until I saw the group prepared to take off. Each looked liked they ran marathons. The dogs were lean sporting breeds, ready and conditioned to go miles at full speed. The men looked like greyhounds on steroids. My collie and I looked at each other, then decided to switch to the walk-group, where we joined an elderly friend with her two Shelties. The runners took off first, with a start that reminded me of the Kentucky Derby. Nearby, a woman restrained three gorgeous Borzoi hounds. (Two of the three were breed champions, the third was one show short of getting his championship status.) Their long coats gleamed in the sun, their muscles rippled as they surged together as a pack to follow the runners. Instinct kicked in, and the pack wanted to hunt. With difficulty she held them back.

I will never forget that fleeting moment of wondrous beauty, when the sun reflected off of their long silky coats and the muscles rippled. If I was an artist, I would have done my best to capture the moment on canvas.

I would do so for two reasons: to remember, and to share the experience. If someone else “caught the vision” and took similar pleasure, my own joy would be increased. Perhaps that need to share is as much a basic need as the need for shelter, for food. The artist was not “wasting time” when he could have been doing something else more practical. Instead, he used his great skills to share, and now, 30,000 years later, we continue to appreciate and be grateful as well as in awe. What

he saw and shared, what we see, is indeed wondrous, and our lives are enriched because of it.

It is a good thing to remember wondrous moments. It is a good thing to give thanks for them as the gift from God to us that they are. Then may we have the courage to share them. The world is better off when we do.