Mad in Pursuit Notebook

wind

Higher Power: Wind

Feb. 26, 2016. (continued from Sense of Place: Earth Water Air Fire) During the day, I watch the wind, as it creates breakers on the lake, as it makes the bird feeder swing wildly from its hook, as it gives ring-billed gulls lift for their acrobatics, as it blows snow into drifts. But at night, I hear it. And when I can only hear it, I find myself identifying with ancient nomads who lived in tents or yurts, listening to the voice of God.

Did I just write that? "Voice of God"? It might easily be the Roar of Chaos. If the wind picks up while I'm sleeping, I'm suddenly wide awake. It's unsettling because, unlike breakers, it has no rhythm. It shifts and gusts unpredictably. Something bumps against the house. What's it doing out there?

I come back to the Hebrew idea of ruach, the breath of God animating the cosmos. Invisible except for its effects, wind brings change. The ancient Greeks used winds at first to define the four compass points and also connected them with the four seasons: Boreas, the north wind, was old man winter. Notus, from the south, was the scorching winds of summer. From the (south-)east, the wind Euros brought dreary rains and tornados (autumn?). From the west, gentle Zephyrus delivered spring.

Wind complicates. It turns snow fall into a blizzard. It turns a dropped match into a wildfire. It whips the seas up into hurricanes and the plains into tornados.

But clever humans figured out how to harness wind power. As early as 5000 B.C.E. sailboats traveled on the Nile. Then windmills were used to grind grain.

I used to own a sailboat. I liked being part of the crew, but never felt comfortable at the rudder. I couldn't manage a conversation with the breeze. We did not "become one." Same--worse, really--with windsurfing: I fought the wind, and lost. The wind--the ruach--is definitely a Higher Power.

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Books by Susan Barrett Price:

THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) Thailand: lovers of ancient treasure tangle with international black markets. Delia Rivera pulls Martin Moon back into the game and their quest turns deadly. In paperback and Kindle editions.

TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) Time after time, Mary asks herself: Do I go or do I stay? She finds her power in her ancestors: Smart women turn discontent into action. An illustrated memoir in paperback and Kindle editions.

PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008) The twin forces of revenge and redemption drive Nellie MacKenzie and Taylor Jackson on a crazed adventure into the heart of Central Asia. They grapple with issues of ethics, trust, rage, and bitter heartbreak -- as well as the intrigue of the international antiquities trade. In paperback and Kindle editions.

 

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All pages in this website by Susan Barrett Price are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. [The snowstorm image at the top of this page came from Wikipedia, under a Creative Commons license.]