Laura - and a lot of not very much
Laura - and a lot of not very much

When I am on the ocean I dream a lot. On dry land, less so, but last night was an exception. Maybe the monotony of the landscape we have been traversing since we reached Holland has triggered the same dream response that the ocean does.

My dreams are usually not much more than a re-hash of the day’s sensory input, jumbled up into some surreal juxtapositions – but while there is less sensory input, either on the ocean or in flat, grey Dutch landscapes, it takes less time for my sleeping brain to sort and assimilate it, leaving more time and headspace for dreams of a more interesting nature.

Last night’s dream started out in amusing enough fashion. Loosely based on Pirates of the Caribbean (but unfortunately not featuring Johnny Depp – boo!) I was the captain of a ship, breaking some news to the crew. The bad news was that all our booty had been plundered by another crew of pirates. The good news was that our boat had been chartered to make the next film in the Pirates of the Caribbean saga so we were going to have enough money to keep going.

But then a particular phrase popped out, which has been reverberating around my head all day – particularly this morning as we trudged through exceptionally flat and featureless surroundings, heads down into the rain.

The phrase was: He Who Controls The Wind Controls All The Ships.

Now, this might mean nothing, but given my current near-obsession with Copenhagen, and the fact that the phrase did not evaporate with the morning light as most of my dreams do, I had to give it due consideration. It does seem particularly relevant to Copenhagen. My goal in going to the conference is a little nebulous. What do I have to offer that is not already being offered by, the Climate Project, the Climate Group, WWF, or the multitude of other NGOs and individuals descending on the Danish capital?

Sign spotted by Alison in Essex - You've made the difference!
Sign spotted by Alison in Essex - You've made the difference!

Yet despite the smallness of my individual voice in all this hubbub, I have a powerful feeling that I do have a message that, provided I get the opportunity to deliver it, might just be the one straw on the back of the one camel that could make a difference. My message may possibly strike a chord with someone, or some people, and end up changing the chemistry of the debate. This might sound big-headed, but you just never know – and for my own satisfaction I needed to know, when I look back on 2009 and this crucial moment in human history, that I did all I could to make a difference for the good.

This phrase from my dream seems to sum up what I hope to achieve. The wind is invisible, yet incredibly powerful (and don’t we know it after walking into or across it for the last few days!). If the wind represents the invisible energy of the Copenhagen conference, and the ships represent the countries which currently are heading every which way – with some on collision course – then if the wind of change can become strong enough to get all the ships moving in the same direction, there may be hope for a satisfactory outcome.

But my next question is, what IS the wind? What is this invisible force that could make all the difference? Is it the attitude of the US? Is it the governments of China and India? Is it the NGOs? Is it public opinion? Or is it something more spiritual – the intangible energy created wherever large numbers of humans congregate, especially when united by a common focus?

I don’t know the answer, but I’d welcome comments and opinions. Given the lead-up to the conference, it might seem impossible that we will see any decisive action. But who knows – if we can generate a sufficiently powerful wind of change, we may yet achieve the miracle we need in order to create a sustainable future for humanity.

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  • Roz, thank you for what you are doing, and for sharing your dreams.

    I think the “wind of change” is us … taking action. Look into the faces of the people in this video. These are our faces. More faces send a moving message of urgency in this video.

    I think the “ships of state” and our leaders hear us. Mayors, City Councils and Planning Commissions are definitely are hearing us and are adopting low-carbon building and energy ordinances.

    Now it the time to turn up the volume for those who will attend the meetings in Copenhagen. Light a candle for hope December 11, 12 or 13. This is the moment. This is it. Make that change.

  • “yet despite the smallness of my individual voice…”

    Your voice is NOT small, Roz. I’m one of your flock who is shouting for you. My friends are shouting for you. Like in Horton Hears a Who: “We are here, we are here!”

    Your friend from Powell’s in Portland

  • “wind of change”-back in 1989, the Berlin wall came down and I remember it only happened because people gathered together and stood up for a change. Politicians couldn`t do anything about it.The Rockband “Skorpions” wrote this song:Wind of change-just for this historical moment.Isn`t it always the individual one who changes history?I think you`re doing a FANTASTIC job that will definitely bring forth fruit!

  • Dear Roz, I think you are absolutely right and what is required is a shift in consciousness, which is not the same thing exactly as awareness. Keep exploring and questioning this and I think you will find the answers you are looking for about how to make change. The 100th Monkey principle applies, if you can figure out how that works on a consciousness level.

    Tangentially, today I received an email about the annual slaughter of Calderon dolphins on Faroe Islands in Denmark, including photographs of the many dolphins’ bodies in a sea stained red with their blood. I don’t know how to get this email to you, but somehow holding an international climate change conference in the same country that allows this is deeply shocking to me as it would seem implicitly to endorse such practices that are apparently likely to spell the end of this species of dolphin. If you want to see the email, let me know how I can get it to you. As I said, this information is tangential, but as I read it my first thought was that you were on your way to Denmark because you care about this planet–as it is these dolphins’ home.

  • Hi Roz

    This is one of your silent followers; Blog, Podcast, Twitter and the book is on the way.
    Not to many comments on your blog from me. (Just one, when you asked feedback on your website)
    When I saw that you will walk to Brussels, I thought maybe I can see you arriving or see you walking, as I work in Brussels.
    Your route should go over Belgium, but it is changed a bit.
    This made me look very close to where you are going.
    But there are more roads to Brussels.
    As it looks today you will pass our house (no matter what way you will take)
    We live 3km south of Bergen op Zoom.
    Hopefully I will be home early home so we can cheer you up while walking (can you announce a bit more exact the route and maybe the timing)
    In case you (and the rest of the group) want to stop for something warm (hot chocolate drink, tea, coffee or a nice meal)
    Everyone is very welcome to stop.
    When tomorrow is my lucky day, your book will arrive (ordered 2 weeks ago), you will stop for a warm drink, and you can sign the book ….
    But if tomorrow is not my lucky day I wish you a very good trip to Brussels and we support you and especially your ideal about the World


    Aey and Baldwin

  • Hi UncaDoug,

    here the adress
    Zandven 34 bergen op zoom

    N 51o 27′ 56.73″
    E 4o 19′ 59.15″

    I can send you my phone number as well for a more exact timing by SMS text message.

    When you send me a mail to you will get it direct.

  • Roz, the wind that blows, I would say, emanates from your heart, your voice, your convictions, and your actions as with each of us…while only one, it can echo across untold spaces and touch other hearts…we are a large community with so many divergent and often conflicting “winds” and forces…but one voice, if true, can ring true for and in many other hearts…and alter, move, sway those cross currents…stay the course and follow your heart and feel the spirit of the wind and the course it takes you…unlike your rowing which had its own course, our hearts and conscience find a course with the wind of truth…it will guide us and direct us and massage our convictions and voice as needed…enjoy the journey and have courage with each new day…who knows what tomorrow will bring but the wind will guide our hearts and conviction! thank you for sharing and evoking this…

  • Dear Roz,
    You make a difference by alerting all of us to this situation. Climate Change is on the tip of so many people’s tongues now. You have brought this home to ME and I am sharing it with others. So it goes. Small amounts build up to become big amounts.

    I am a hobby glassblower. Just started working at a new studio that burns trapped methane from an abandoned landfill for the glass furnace fuel. Burned methane turns into carbon dioxide which is much better than pure methane in terms of the affect it has on greenhouse gases. So now, as I create glass art (and some not-arty) pieces, I think about it all in a new light – thanks to you.

    You ARE more than one tiny straw. Believe that this hike across desolate Dutch plain or your rowing is bringing it all to the fore in a way that is so much more compelling than what a politician or activist would do. Thank you for your energy, your example, your fortitude and your inspiration.

    Laurey in Asheville

  • Roz, perhaps the “wind” is a metaphor…but, perhaps it is real. It seems the USA has one of the largest wind corridors in the world and perhaps, TBone Pickens is right with his idea of wind power for all of our electrical needs in this energy crazy nation. NO, I am not a T bone fan, but this idea just might work and cut our dependence on oil and CO2 in the atmosphere. I sail a boat, so I am aware of the winds power…good luck to you and thanks for your help in this world.

  • Indigenous peoples remind us that our dreams carry vital messages of understanding and wisdom, and when a dream comes along as powerful as this one, then the message is there for good reason.

    Such a message has incredible power of force when spoken by you Roz, as you have embedded in your very cells the knowledge of the sea and the wind. You know what it is to battle with the elements, and you know better than most just how difficult it is to control the wind. Sometimes it takes all that one can do just to navigate one’s way through a storm to eventual safety (so true of all the hardest encounters in our lives). But what if we could collectively control the wind (and therefore our lives)? Maybe this is not such a mad idea…

    If you were to take the premise that we are all interconnected and interdependent, not just humans, but to all beings, then what we each think and do has impact on us all, no matter how small. We know that is the case as proven now by science – Professor Masuro Emoto in Japan has buddhists mediate on water to successfully de-pollute it. Shamens chant for rainfall after dry weather. Quantum Physics demonstrates our thoughts ultimately shape and create our reality in ways and with long-term implications that we may never even know of.

    The famous example is of the butterfly flapping her wings in the Amazon which sets off an avalanche in Alps. This used to be called Chaos Theory, but is now known as Complexity Theory – what looks like chaos on the outside is infact masking complex reorganisation on the inside.

    So, following that thread, meditation to heal the planet and mitigate the harsher outcomes, or positive thought groups sending out intent for the climate negotiations no longer seems such a mad idea (see

    Thus, we each have the potential to become controllers of the wind and – taking your apt analogy of the ships being the countries – we become the empowered controllers of the ships that sail therein. The power ultimately lies within each of us to give direction to the wind, to give the momentum for the sails to fill and sail smoothly, if only we would but stand up and become participants. This is ultimately what people power is all about. As each person gives intent to navigating the waters of our individual and collective existence, so we co-create the route we take. This applies personally, professionally, politically.

    One breath, one thought, one step. Who was it that said “The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step?” Roz, you are on that journey literally and metaphorically. May your sails be filled with a good wind to take you and your message to those that need to hear it.

    I look forward to hearing more!


  • Thanks to all for your comments on this blog. Interesting to find that I am not the only person who interpreted this dream on a spiritual level – but I also was very interested to see the more literal interpretations. All duly noted and I will review them again when I’m planning my speech for Copenhagen.

    I’d like to particularly direct people to Polly’s website, She has the brilliant concept that the Earth should have legal rights, so that countries/companies/individuals who violate those rights can be taken to court. Polly will be in Copenhagen too. One to watch, for sure!

  • Laurey – Doug’s response is correct. We’ve only had 2 guests so far on our walk, although we are doing well on gathering signatures on our Earth Balls as we go. But I believe that everything happens for a reason, so maybe we were meant to be just our small team for now!

    And we are of course experiencing some wonderful generosity from people such as Baldwin and Aey – and Frank in Brussels still to come.

  • “He Who Controls The Wind Controls All The Ships.’

    I put my head phones to listen to my chakra CD and started reading this post. My blood went cold. I couldn’t believe what I was reading for I too have been having a “thing” about pirates recently. In fact one in particular whose name is “Black Sam”. His ship was found off of Cape Cod. There is a museum in Provincetown, MA

    Funny feelings come over me thinking about this. It is as if my thoughts were being validated by what you wrote Roz. I believe the wind is the breath of the Divine and I believe he/she literally has full control over ships at sea. I believe people under-estimate the true power of the universe that we are all a part of. I believe if we do the better good answers to questions will always come.

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