Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Song of the Wind

Dear Pilgrim,

After weeks of donning light shells and thin finger gloves, winter finally settles into the neighbourhood. Everyone expected him weeks, even months ago, with the gale force tenacity he bellowed last year. But no, winter waited. Christmas passed brown and windy, the breathy exhale always accompanying the sunshine. We embraced the sun, and cringed to face the wind. The constant droning and moaning, piercing exposed sinuses, taunting the out-of-breath explorer, dismaying man and beast as it propels flames across the landscape—it grates our minds and aggravates our souls.

But if we want sunshine, we must accept the wind. The healing balm that coaxes us outdoors, with upturned faces, viewing the golden world, comes with the wind. The draining, changing, threatening wind—unpredictable, flighty, menacing—this keeps company with sunshine.

But what is the wind, really? Just blowing and blowing air, invisible, harmful only because of what it stirs up, or knocks over, or carries around. But just the wind . . . it’s just a breath. It tells us we are here, seasons change, nature’s garments flutter and flounce. It teaches us to hammer down what is important, and let the little things fly. It informs us of change or danger, blowing dust off our cars, cramming dirt into our windowsills. It gives and takes, always exchanging what it holds, never grasping it long, always taking it somewhere else.

The wind, it tells me that I too am vapour, practically invisible, a constant droning till I die away, moving things about through work, rearranging, then my body will lie quiet. The important stuff needs securing, the trivial needs shooing . . . and strangely enough, it’s the vital things of life that are invisible: relationships, looking rightly at the world, knowing why we are here, who we belong to, and where we are going. If we can’t nail these things, we haven’t much substance to carry, and will feel empty passing through the tunnel of time.

Because one day there won’t be wind, we won’t be scurrying. We will know what is truly valuable. And we’ll either love it, or shrink away from it forever.

God, help us now to love Your reality, Your unchanging nature, Your faithful hand, wherever You lead us. Because You are good, and want good for us, help us trust Your heart, and not chase after the empty wind.

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