Culture

Anti-Stress Serenity Injection: The Chimpanzee Waterfall Video

Many of us have them, I think: periods of time where work and family stresses mix to form an unusual weight, a pressure felt in the body. That's the kind of week I'm having.

An alarming number of ways that I cope with this situation involve chocolate.

Here's one that doesn't. I watch this video, a 2.5-minute postcard from Gombe, Tanzania. In it, the famous Gombe chimpanzees are highly excited. They're at a waterfall, throwing rocks, climbing vines and altogether aroused.

But for me, the effect of the waterfall sounds, and of Jane Goodall's voice as she narrates what's going on, is calming. It's a much-needed injection of serenity.

I love that chimpanzees watch the falling water's trajectory so closely, and that they respond to the natural world around them with what Goodall calls awe and wonder.

On some other day, I might go all anthropological, and analyze Goodall's claim that chimpanzees are as spiritual as she considers humans to be. Today, I just want to watch the chimpanzees' rhythmic dance, and lose myself in those waterfall sounds.


You can keep up with more of what Barbara is thinking on Twitter.

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