February 19, 2003
In North Dakota you can see the wind. OK, so technically you see snow and dirt blown by the wind, grass and even trees bowing in the wind. Close enough. The wind was raging the other day, and Mom remarked that at least the sun was out and could warm things…“if the wind doesn’t blow it away.” I immediately had this mental picture of the sun’s rays bending and flowing toward the north, pushed by the strong south wind. Yep, that’s how strong the wind gets in North Dakota. It can blow the sunshine clear up into Canada! Not that they’d mind a little sunshine, I’m sure.
Wind… My childhood memories of wind blend into general impressions. Racing as fast as I can go into the wind, arms out flung, sure if I got the speed and angle just right I could throw myself onto a gust and it would bear me upwards… Wind blowing through my hair, lifting and teasing… Fighting to ride my bike into the wind, and sailing back with the wind pushing me… Lying in my upstairs bedroom and listening to the wind rage around the house as I snuggle deeper under a pile of quilts…
Many of my adult memories are not so pleasant. I experienced a couple hurricanes when I lived in New Hampshire, and some impressive wind storms back in North Dakota that scared me a lot more than the hurricanes, mostly because I live in a small mobile home that rattles and shakes and sometimes feels like it’s going to lift right off its moorings. I have had trees come down nearly on my trailer. I have walked in a blizzard with the wind sending stinging pellets of snow and freezing cold. And I have always been terrified of tornadoes.
It’s frightening, and it should be. Still,
there is an element of excitement in a raging wind. There is a certain
wildness, a freedom, a strength… Yes, I would say that I still love the
wind. Which is a good thing, considering that it is ever-present where I