I am not thinking about "Lucy" or her hominin kin, Australopithecus afarensis, who walked our Earth more than three million years ago. My mind cannot firmly grasp such a span of time when measuring/understanding my own existence, which is measured in hours and months and years .... and, in breaths. Later, maybe I will try, but not today. Let us reduce those years to the hundreds of thousands, presumably a span easier to comprehend.
Imagine yourself, if you are able, seated comfortably before the entrance to that cave, watching the comings and goings of individuals, of sons and daughters as they become parents and then grow old and die, and each generation flowing into the next, affected by plagues, by changes in climatic patterns, by the appearance and disappearance of warlike strangers entering their habitat and departing from it .... seeing near-imperceptible change in garb, in diet, in weaponry, in appearance, in religious patterns .... imagine it if you can while you are seated comfortably as if in a theater watching a film rendition of every ancestor you have had during those 100,000 years, good and evil, happy and sad, intelligent and dull, everything which once was and has been transmitted into you.
So then, what does your existence mean in context of the next 100,000 years as your genes pass along this timeless trail? Or, is the trail about to abruptly end? Now that we have evolved into creatures wise enough to depart from living in the cave and have become the best, brightest and most beautiful ever to be born, will there even be another 100,000 years of us? Beyond the cave or, maybe, back into the cave, if at all?
If the visual image is planted and you are comfortably seated and have the time to think about these things, do they mean anything at all to you personally?
I will answer my own question: Probably not.
I wonder if the time has arrived for me to start hunting again ....