“You should write about gusts and gales! Do you like the title?” The son asked as he tried comically to keep from being veered off the garden path by the winds. He had wanted to go for a short walk to experience the winds. I told him I’d heard tales of roof tiles sliding off, and the power lines being down nearby. He looked impressed. Winds such as this , he told me, were characterized at category 2.
“Well – in that case hold on to my hands if the winds got any stronger!” I said and he nodded solemnly.
Once out, his solemnity gave way to a wild happiness, and he whooped with the winds. “Maybe I could fly, I could run faster!”
“Or open your mouth and fill yourself with the air and start floating!” I said and he guffawed at that.
It turned out to be a marvelous walk. The trees seem to be dancing and swaying. It was mesmerizing and terrifying at the same time. When a large tree trunk is swaying with every single pine needle on it doing the same, or every single leaf wildly doing the same, it is an image that never truly leaves you. Birds veering off their path, seeking shelter in the shaking boughs of cypress trees, deer huddled under the bare branches of the oaks and other evergreens, waters in the rivers and lakes rippling with every gust of wind. Every single natural entity caught up in its movements however subtle.
This must be a dance of the cosmos.
Many bare branches lay broken at our feet as we stepped gingerly around the wind debris. Luckily, mankind’s sturdy homes seem to be holding up, the electric poles stood. When finally we gained the sanctity of our home, we both released our breaths: we’d been holding it in without realizing, and made for the kitchen. If ever anything demanded tea and hot cocoa this was it.
We sipped our hot beverages in companionable silence for a few moments before reveling in the joys and trials of the windy day.
“I really liked seeing that tree shiver though. Like this!”, said the son and shook himself in a massive wave from top to bottom. His hot cocoa lurched alarmingly in his hands and I caught the cup. “Good one!” He said, and set the cup down before going on to recount how it must be to strap something to yourself and fly in these winds. We sat down to thumb through the excellent images in the Flights of Fancy by Richard Dawkins, Illustrated by Jana Lenzova.
I wanted to fly too, and said so sheepishly. I realized it had been sometime before I had indulged in this sort of whimsy and chided myself for it. One must not work to tap into whimsy – it should be there rippling under the surface ready to tap into and draw magic from at a moment’s notice. Like children. Like they teach us to.
At night, things got even more exciting for the weather explorers. The rains had started pelting down, there was lightning and thunder, and the temperatures plummeted even further. I peeked out at the bleak scenes outside, and for some reason thought that this would be our daily life if we lived on Jupiter, and shuddered a bit at that. A bit of blue and white skies should sort out that weird feeling. (Reference:Why is our sky not green? Book: Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan)
I thought of the beautiful image from the previous day before the thunderous clouds rolled in. Earth held to its orbit, the planets to theirs, and the faintly visible moon to its steadfast path around the Earth. In that small image lies our constancy.
Uncharacteristic snow seem to have dusted the hills near where we live overnight and our version of winter wonderland was marvelous to behold.