What follows is an essay from a Deep Green Resistance member. Perhaps this Open Letter serves as an epitaph for the Castle Rock Prairie Dog community, as well as a call to act. We welcome all those who would stand up in defense of the living.
Open Letter From an Exile:
I wore this shirt, long-sleeved, multi-patterned, funky, well tailored hand-me-down for almost every day I worked on the prairie dog relocation at the “Promenade” site in Castle Rock Colorado.
The “Promenade” site was only that in the avaricious life-sucking minds of the capitalist pig developers. The “site” was really a scrap of prairie community, a last survivor already lacerated by monstrous earth movers, surrounded by apartments, highway, box stores, a mall, parking lots—anti-life.
The shirt faded faded under the intensity of the high-altitude sun. The shirt was embroidered with the words, “Knowledge Wisdom Truth” on the button facing.
I don’t know why.
My camp hat was also a constant part of my attire for those five arduous weeks. A grubby white canvas cloth wide brim decorated in black permanent marker with free-hand representations of dragonflies and guitars. The art was gifted on a happy Folks Festival afternoon by a daughter long sense grown.
Perhaps it was this shirt, and my camp hat – that made the sight of this human so familiar that – on the last day of my participation in the relocation, a sweet bird trusted my presence enough to land on my hat while it was on my head. I will never forget the sensation.
I think it is the greatest compliment I have ever or will ever receive. It will eternally break my heart for I have yet to live up to that trust.
Every step I took upon this scarred, tragically doomed prairie home, now extinct, was a step into the sacred. There are no words to describe her smell, her touch, her sounds, the beat of her heart, the soils the stones, the animals, the birds the bones, the plants in and out of flower. Paradise opened every day just by looking down up around. I am crying as I write this.
We saved most of the Castle Rock Prairie Dogs that survived the holocaust, the fumigation. Some would not leave. No matter how we tried to trap them, to flush them out, they would not be captured. They died on the land of their ancestors when the earth-movers came and obliterated billions of living beings and their infinity of wondrously woven relationships, spun through timeless time and loving trust.
All dead. In the void created the psychopaths are constructing a mall, more and more insatiable life sucking monstrosities following atrocities.
The prairie dogs we relocated are no longer prairie dogs. They inhabit a mountain meadow, in peace. Perhaps they are becoming meadow dogs, weaving new relationships in a new land. They are refugees of the War on Earth.
I was paid for the work that I did and the source of that money was the developer.
It was a band of beautiful women who did the relocation work, who sacrificed so much, loved completely and are wounded deeply.
Some of us could not stop gathering. I was one who compulsively collected stones and bones and feathers, wood and, in the beginning, flowers and herbs to press and burn. They seemed to be calling to me. I was trying to find the answer to a mystery.
Surely somewhere, in such abundance there must be the key to continuing her existence? Surely the beauty and story of any bit of this land could awaken even the most callous heart and save the community?
I know better; psychopaths have no heart. For the most part, humans are already deluded and dead, slaves to machines, servants to destruction. Who are you? How dare you!
Now all I have is a pile of stones and bones, feathers and wood, flowers dried flat and a certainty that this love, this immersion in Prairie gave me. I can wake up and be a whole human.
I am now in exile from Life in Alabama. On the way I stopped to pray at the Witchaphi Wall. I left a blood red stone from that Prairie Home in that sacred place. I offered prayer for the salvation of Prairie Life and a prayer for human redemption in service of Earth.
The song, “A Feather’s Not a Bird” came to Rosanne Cash as she sat with the Witchaphi Wall.
“A feather’s not a bird,
The rain is not the sea,
A stone is not a mountain
But a river runs through me”
There are also these lines in her song:
“There’s never any highway when you’re looking for the past.
The land becomes a memory and it happens way to fast.”
I am in exile, from communities of Life, but not for long. We are rapidly approaching no return, there will be no communities of Life to return to. We will go extinct with them.
There is no point in running away. There is nowhere to run to that has not been marked for destruction.
Nothing left to do,
But defend the land, and let the river run though me.