Review: Gods of the Morning: A Bird’s-Eye View of a Changing World
When I was a kid I used to wake before sunrise to go turkey hunting with my dad in the cedar-lined pockets of central Nebraska. Though I no longer hunt, I often find myself daydreaming of those early morning hours, hunkered down in the dewy grass beside my dad, the heat of my own breath lingering in my hunting mask. It’s not the kill that I miss, or the weight of the 12-gauge against my shoulder. It’s the waiting. It’s the stillness that followed the box call. On those mornings, we watched the prairie wake up. We listened for a tom in the distance or a clucking hen, and heard everything else: the meadowlarks and the cardinals, the finches and the sparrows, the crickets, beetles, grasshoppers, and dragonflies. In the absence of society’s distractions, something primitive crept into our perspective—the faintest hint, perhaps, of our ancient biorhythms.
“Have we got it all wrong?” asks British naturalist John Lister-Kaye in his latest book, Gods of the Morning: A Bird’s-Eye View of a Changing World. “Has the march of what we have labeled ‘civilisation’ now taken us so far away from nature, from biorhythms, from contact with the soil that we have lost the ability to assess what damage our actions inflict on the planet?”