Friend Honor Woodrow, member of Framingham Monthly Meeting, wrote the following reflection at the end of Day 5 of our Climate Pilgrimage in Manchester, New Hampshire.
It rained this morning… and after walking 30 miles in three days (which I confess I thought didn’t sound “too daunting”) my feet hurt, my legs were sore, I was a little cold (despite the privilege of my warm and water proof rain gear), and I felt tired and a little grumpy. What a perfect time to settle into worship! As we entered into the silent portion of our walk I began reflecting on a conversation with a fellow traveler, who I just met that morning, about how sometimes we can get stuck, thinking that the ways we might be called on to change our lives in the face of climate change will be a sacrifice, not realizing that in reality some of those changes will bring greater joy, connection, and freedom. With each, tender step of our walking worship I settled deeper into the experience of that Truth- that for the time being, despite being cold, and tired and sore, the gifts of the Spirit were abounding. This is why I came on this pilgrimage, because I believe that clarity of action stems from this place, the same placed described by George Fox when he wrote:
Great things did the Lord lead me into, and wonderful depths were opened unto me beyond what can by words be declared; but as people come into subjection to the Spirit of God, and grow up in the image and power of the Almighty, they may receive the word of wisdom, that opens all things, and come to know the hidden unity in the Eternal Being.
I still have no idea what is required of me in these times of catastrophic climate disruption, but I know that tomorrow when I wake up I will put one foot in front of the other, as I walk with others, some of whom have heard a clear and prophetic truth, and others who, like me are still listening, because I trust in the hope offered by the Quaker tradition, which tells us that when things don’t seem clear, when things feel baffling, when we feel weak, vulnerable, unworthy, insufficient, and confused- that that is the moment when we might receive wisdom- and if our actions spring from this place, wonderful things might be revealed.