Silence will speak more to you in a day than the world of voices can teach you in a lifetime.
Find silence. Find solitude – and having discovered her riches, bind her to your heart.*
It’s a multiple-use area that still protects the ecosystem, but now it’s largely being leaked by oil companies. It’s being cut to pieces by energy development and it’s having an impact on the park with new roads and oil pads sprouting up like corn.**
One of the problems with being human is that we think everything’s for us. The future, though, will demand that we be more-than-human.
The silence will help us to see more.
Valerie Naylor is the Superintendent of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and noticing her time more and more “mitigating the drilling on the boundaries of the park, and that is more than a full-time job.”**
The oil companies are fracking for oil, apparently concerned for now and unable to see the future. Seth Godin warns us that we must be very careful when working with means and ends:
‘The way we choose to get to where we’re going defines what it’s going to be like when we get there.’^
In the silence, though, we perhaps find the means to become more than human, to listen to our neighbours, whether they be birds, trees or hornets:
‘Each time I look out and see the bends in the river of the Little Missouri, these grasslands, these ships of clouds floating over the prairie, I am possessed by a sense of discovery, […] this openness, these unending views, the silences, the empyreal sky. This – dare I use the word? – completes me.’^^
(*Frances Roberts, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(**Valerie Naylor, quoted in Terry Tempest Williams’ The Hour of Land.)
(^From Seth Godin’s blog: The ends and the means.)
(^^From Terry Tempest Williams’ The Hour of Land.)