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SoCS: Caves, Caverns, Glow Worms, and Heading into the Light


Today’s SoCS post is: “cave.” We can use it as a noun or a verb. And Linda says, “Enjoy!” which I will!

Caves can be mysterious and scary. They can also be shelter. One of my favorite book series starts with The Clan of the Cave Bear.  There are several books in the series by Jean Auel who writes about the woman Ayla in prehistoric times. It’s about survival, love, learning, and sacred places. The last book was titled, The Land of Painted Caves. I loved the books so much, I named my daughter Ayla almost 27 years ago after reading the fourth book. Seems like yesterday in some ways. 

Caves have always fascinated me. Though I haven’t visited many, I have been to Linville Caverns a few times. The temperature is always 60 something degrees in the caverns. You have to take an elevator down for the guided tour.  (These caverns are closed right now due to COVID 19 which makes sense for such tight spaces.)

Here are some photos inside the caverns:

                cavern lightcavern

Jess and Dad in cavern

My son and granddaughter study a stalactite 

Inside these caverns, runs a stream containing trout. They say a couple of guys died in the caverns many years ago from lack of ventilation and smoke inhalation. Too bad. That’s not what I want to write about. But it’s good to remember if you’re gonna have a fire in a cave, you have to have ventilation. A cave with a veranda would be nice. Maybe some potted plants….

Some day, I’d like to visit a big cave and just hang out in there for a while as long as I’m at a safe distance from bears or crazy people. No. I don’t want to be stuck in a cave with a crazy person, unless of course they are fun crazy – in a silly way, but they can also be quiet and still. A cave is a place to be reverent. That’s how I would be if I went to New Zealand’s glow worm caves. Take a look at this in full screen with the lights out.

 Can you imagine?! This looks alien, but it’s right here on planet earth!

Sometimes, especially lately, I think I would like to hide out in a cave, but not a cold one. A woman cave. I might even have visitors. But I would have to come out sooner or later. A long time ago, I painted a picture of coming out of a cave of darkness. It was shortly after my divorce.

painting w yellow sky from cave

Do you see someone in the upper right yelling at me to stay in the cave? I didn’t plan that in the painting, and I don’t know who it is. Maybe it’s just a rock.  Or maybe this rock face is telling me to get out of the cave. But the main focus has to be the sunlight and the trees beyond the cave. That’s where I was was headed. Into the light.

SoCS is brought to you by Linda G. Hill. For more info, guidelines and streams, visit:


Animal Communication: Language Beyond Words

An animal eyes with wolf

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is, “language.”

The first thing I thought of was that animals have language though some snobs say they don’t. I didn’t mean to write snobs. But I wrote it right out of my stream of consciousness. (I don’t usually call names.) But I do love and respect animals.

In college, I wrote a research paper on the intelligence of dolphins and whales. There was plenty of research, even back then in the 1970’s, that suggested that dolphins and whales communicate in complex ways. This was based on their behavior. If you pay attention, you will see, hear, and sense things that you don’t notice when you don’t pay attention.  The songs of humpback whales are complex and change over time. Who’s to say that this is not language? Just because we don’t understand, just because it sounds different from human languages, doesn’t mean it’s not language.

Many animals have a keen sense and use of body language. They are more aware of it than we are as humans. My dogs have observed my body language very carefully. That’s probably the dominant way dogs communicate, but how do I know? They are probably way more complex than we realize. Who’s to say that a wolf’s howl is just a song? And song’s are language anyway.

great voices wolf pup

In Jean Auel’s book series that started with The Clan of the Cave Bear, the human-like tribes thought the Neanderthal-like tribes were animals because they did not speak. But we learned from the main character, Ayla (who I named my daughter after because I fell in love with these books), that this was not true. They did have a very complex language based on subtle body movements. Ayla knew this because the people of the Clan adopted her (even though she was one of the others) and she learned their language. Even though some of the Clan people thought she was slow and stupid because she did not have the “memories,” she learned healing from the woman who adopted her.

So, language is relative. Language is complicated and beautiful. Like The Five Love Languages which I’m mentioning in my May newsletter. There is the language of love that we communicate with our eyes, the windows to our souls, with no words at all. Perhaps a language without words (as we know them) has the potential to be even more powerful than simple words. Considering that, it’s pretty amazing that we communicate as well as we do, here on WordPress and other blog spots. I’ve made some good and meaningful connections with this language of words. So I’m not knocking language as we are accustomed to it. I’m just saying, there’s a whole lot more to language than just human words.

This video excerpt starts with lots of surface action which I recommend watching in full screen. The singing begins just after two minutes.

(The photos are from Pinterest.)

Linda G. Hill is our host for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness. Visit her blog to follow more streams at:


Here are the SoCS rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!