Thursday, December 9, 2021


            We’ve been noticing the wind. We see it on the lake, looking east to whitecaps driven by the north our south winds, or scattered patches of rough water as a dancing west wind decorates the surface. Wind from the east is rare, but it brings waves crashing in.


            The prevailing west wind is most often experience as sound – moving heavy across Lake Michigan about a quarter mile to our west, then blowing through the tall trees all around our house. We don’t feel it on the ground, and few leaves are being driven along with some snow swirls, but we can hear it, and we see the tree tops swaying, with an occasional branch falling for me to move off our road. The sound in the high trees is the humming of the universe.


            Wind means change. Maybe it’s just this time of year, but the throbbing hum is ushering in what feels like more than a new weather system. Maybe it’s the prospect of a new year, or perhaps the solstice, where darkening changes to lightening. Our isolation has a new feel of its own with our neighbors gone for the winter. We have changed to more of an indoor life, except for the occasional shoveling of snow or trip to the store, cancer center, or post office, but change is electric in the outdoor air. Some evenings we turn on outside lights to watch the snow blow past our windows.


            The wind-driven anticipated change is more dramatic than changes such as the steady decline as we age, and it’s more hopeful, for me, than the bleak prospects of climate change and continuing social chaos. It’s larger, more spiritual. The idea is to be attuned to the wind and to change, and, where possible to celebrate it, even participate in it. How?


            As Shelley writes in “Ode to the West Wind”:


Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!


To begin with, it’s time to move our dead thoughts out of here. There certainly are enough of them around . . ..


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