As writers, we need to pay attention to the world around us. To write authentically, we must develop a sense-of-place. In this distracted world it is easy to forget to watch and see what is happening under our eyes. It is easy to miss the sunrise and sunset. It is easy to forget the moon overhead and the stranger across the street and the mass extermination of an entire people going on in Africa. It takes much consideration to develop a global sense of place.
In the rush of modern life in a preoccupied world, we forget to pay attention to the little things that are really quite remarkable. And, so, to the point of this post. Each morning, as the sun rises, prairie dogs leave their home burrows and stand with their palms together and face the sun for twenty to thirty minutes. Then they go about their day. Towards sunset they return to their home burrows and again stand motionless with their palms together and face the setting sun. What do they know that we have forgotten?
Prairie dog colonies are systematically being exterminated. From the hundreds of square miles they occupied before we advanced west, they inhabit a mere nine at present(via an NPR report from Bryce Canyon on 4/3/10). They are considered vermin and of no use to us. I’m wondering if there is a lesson we could learn from them before they are gone forever. I wonder that there isn't room for us and them on planet Earth. They who would dance to the rising sun.