“Thus quieted, I heard what I believe” Reflection by Paul Dobbs, Winchester, NH

Paul journeyed with us for two days in New Hampshire, and wrote this in a comment on Patrick’s last post – but it needs to be shared more widely. – Jay

I am deeply grateful to the organizers, to the sturdy long-distance pipeline pilgrims, and to everyone who walked, for their leadership and friendship. My participation, just 21 of the total 150 miles, was ever so modest. But nevertheless it was, by far, the best thing I have done for myself in a long time. The whole of it—the silences, the walking, the silent walking, the quiet encountering of crows, phoebes, trees, rivers, sheep, people along the road (adults and children involved in their lives), the houses, fields, trees, the crushed bottles and cans underfoot, the white horse who shyly engaged us, the thoughtful conversations with new friends, and those silences, and that walking, walking, especially the silent walking—did quiet me far more effectively than my ordinary meditations, valuable as they are.

Thus quieted, I heard what I believe, that there is no reason to doubt the consensus of the climate scientists, and that their assessment is careful and true: that we humans are steering this beautiful planet toward catastrophe. And I heard a curious secret whispered to me: the fact that many, indeed most, others also do believe what the scientists say, but they are managing, as I had managed, to live each day not hearing what they believe.

It seems the goal is now to sustain the quieting, so to be able to heed what one hears and then to act, with others, to correct the course.

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