Who’s afraid of the wind? This force of nature can come with a gentle, nurturing caress or a vengeance that shakes human souls to the core. It carries an indomitable power over the earth that has controlled the way we live since the first spark of life on the planet.
Putting all the science aside, and at the risk of offending meteorologists everywhere, there are many who think the wind is a messenger, particularly when it visits our island unannounced or underestimated at 100 kilometers per hour or more. It is a matter of whether you embrace it and listen or you hide behind walls, counting the hours until it passes, wondering what damage has been left in its wake.
I have always loved the wind. The stronger and the gustier, the more excitement and wonder I feel. As a child growing up on the prairies, I drove my mother crazy when the plow winds and tornado force “breezes” whipped across the land, sending the livestock into a panicked frenzy and bending the poplars into u-shapes. I would be eventually found under one of the evergreen trees we had as a shelter belt, thoroughly wrapped up in the sounds and texture of the wind and laughing maniacally when a clap of thunder or a bolt of lightening accompanied the symphony of noise. It’s a wonder they didn’t have me committed.
I still love the wind. I can’t wait to get outside into the middle of the back yard and stand with my arms spread wide, face into the wind, listening intently with a rapturous grin from ear to ear. Sometimes the sheer joy of it makes me spin with excitement, captured by the same sounds and textures I felt as a kid, sitting under that evergreen on the farm.
The wind is a messenger and tells us a story if we have the ability to focus. I don’t actually hear any words although sometimes I think I can hear multitudes of voices, perhaps energy picked up by the wind as it careens across the land, picking up snippets of conversation and human and animal emotions. But it’s the feeling that I get from the wind that is so overwhelming.
Sometimes it feels angry and frustrated and honestly, those times seem to be increasing – perhaps it is part of Mother Nature wearing her cranky pants because of what we are doing to her planet? I can’t say as I blame her. Maybe she is sending the wind as a way of telling us that we are poking the bear too much and a time will come when we are finally faced with the fact that we are not in charge. I have to admit that when I pick up that feeling from the wind, I experience a tiny bit of dread and feel I’ve been told some things that we, as humans, would rather not hear.
But when the wind is filled with a clarifying energy, it feels more like excitement and sheer happiness as it sweeps across the land leaving a sparkling clean path in its wake — another opportunity for a fresh start. Those winds fill me with wonder and joy at being alive. Living without power for awhile or picking up the debris from the aftermath is just part of the job. This is a small sacrifice for the experience in my world.
Perhaps I am being a bit of a crazy chicken but I’m not alone in the coop. There is even a Fan Club aptly named “I Love The Wind“. I haven’t joined the discussion room yet as I kind of prefer relishing this natural phenomena all by myself. Being a child of the sixties (and no, I was still too young at that point to have partaken in or have sustained brain damage from the ecstasy of choice of that decade), but I must have been in the room when my mother read aloud the 1962 Ray Bradbury novel Something Wicked This Way Comes. The little horror flick, adapted from the novel that followed in 1983, had nothing to do with wind but that title always comes to mind when the heavy winds begin to blow and I find myself facing the oncoming force and that delicious little fear kicks in.
“Something wicked this way comes,” I mutter ominously, trying to instigate a freaky reaction from my husband, who is not a member of the crazy chicken coop. He shakes his head and chalks it up to yet another creepy yet endearing quality in his wife.
One of the silent films on the movie screen in 1928 was a story called The Wind, adapted from a novel by Dorothy Scarborough. It portrayed the prevailing Texas winds to be harsh and unrelenting, instilling fear and hatred in the film’s heroine. It eventually resulted in the star of the movie being driven insane by the continuous onslaught of wind, sandstorms and cyclones. This is a sign of how long the wind has been seen as something that intimidates but perhaps that is due to it being a part of nature that we cannot control.
Cyclones, tornadoes and hurricanes are another story — winds that kill. There is nothing to embrace or enjoy about being a victim of these destructive forces, but again, these are entities that Mother Nature cooks up for us and all we can do is hang on for dear life and wait for her fury to pass.
Anyone who turns on a TV or radio or reads the internet or a newspaper is well aware of the increasing number of destructive and terrifying natural disasters that are happening worldwide. Maybe if we listened closer to what the prequel winds are telling us, we could tap into the secret of this mystery and learn what we need to do to survive.
In the meantime, I will continue to twirl about like a ballerina in the back yard as the winds whip my hair into a tangled nest and laughing with joy as I try to listen to its stories of what is yet to come.
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