Friday, November 18, 2011

The Wind

It is a thought, it is a feeling, it is the wind, carried to me and through me by a voice on the other end of the line.

How foolish we are! How vain to think ourselves so strong. How vain to think that I could not be toppled. I have never seen the wind, but I have seen what it can do…mighty oaks scattered like toothpicks.

Wind can glide through the tree tops, calming our minds with faerie sounds. It can dance with stars at night. It can gently warm our faces as we stand on shores of foreign seas.

Or it can blow cold. Bite. Bring tears to our eyes.

I’ve tried to paint the wind. But like love, it can’t be expressed in form. Like love, it cannot be seen. Like love, it can only be felt. Like love, we have no control over its intensity or the direction it may choose to take. We can only experience it.

I hang up the phone and immediately hear sirens wailing. Outside, I see signs of the wind. Leaves are scurrying by, enjoying the ride. Without the wind to scuttle them, they lie in piles and decompose. The wind is their adventure, the only force that can save them from simply rotting where they fell. They have no power to lift themselves up. They can only lie in stasis, hoping for a gust to carry them somewhere new before it is too late.

I watch one large golden oak leaf pass by the window. The wind picks it up, dances with it, then lets it be. Still for a moment, it is lifted up again. Carried. Dropped. Up. Down. I watch until it disappears from sight, a particularly strong gust carrying it around the corner.

Sirens wail. I’m in the car. I want home. I want safety. I want to drink coffee and watch the storm through my patio door. And this is the plan.

But it is not what I do.

I’m home. I’m safe. But I’m not behind the door. I’m on the patio, wind whipping past my face, drops of rain dancing on my skin. The storm is abating, as they always do.

I cannot see the wind, but I believe in it all the same. I have never doubted it is there. I have never doubted, in its absence, that it would one day return.

So long as I can feel, I know. I do not have to see.
For example, I do not need to be near the Arctic Circle to know that it is winter there. The wind blows cold, carrying with it tiny shards of ice that bite the skin, bring tears to the eyes. Wind from the top of the world can freeze a person in place, which is quite dangerous. It can take a long time to thaw a thing that’s frozen solid. And other times, it can thaw in an instant.

It all depends.

The phone rings. I am still for a moment, then lifted up again.

Carried. Dropped. Up. Down.
We can only
experience it.

Art: The Other Side of the Sea, by Amy L. Alley, 2011

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