Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wind (Entry #3 in the madhousegazette South Dakota Lexicon)

I find current public discourse on differing views of global climate change tiresome. I still find fascination in climate and humanity's relationship with the Earth and its atmosphere. I know I'm not the only one--how else would The Weather Channel been able to survive so long? I suppose it was on the leading edge of reality television.

Wind is a term relative to region. In the Pacific Northwest, it's something that cools your house down in the evening after a warm summer day. Wind makes the guardian evergreens dance in the near sky. Wind occasionally challenges the floating bridges across Lake Washington. Wind can kick up the sand in your face during an otherwise chilly day at a rocky beach. But wind is an accessory in the Northwest. It kicks up, but it dies down.

Though I have never lived in hurricane country, wind is more associated with violence. As the Atlantic waters warm, so comes the potential of evacuation and damage to homes and businesses.

In South Dakota, the wind really doesn't stop. A South Dakota weather forecaster shouldn't point out that it's windy, rather, they should point out that it's not windy. There is nowhere to hide from the wind. It alters a human's walking course. It chafes skin. To an uncovered set of ears, the wind in South Dakota bears a sharp edge, like needles to the brain. Even on warm summer days when I ran, I would wear some sort of headband/ear covering to protect my hammer, anvil and stirrup from torment.

South Dakota may be on the edge of Tornado Alley, but the wind does not mess around. There may not be as many tornadoes compared to Kansas and Oklahoma, but the wind won't let you forget it's presence. Matching God with the wind and my Pacific Northwest experience was always a simple connection. South Dakota was different. Wind is an agitator. Wind is a destroyer (as in this photo from South Dakota Ranch Country) And there was no place to hide. I tried to plant trees for a refuge, and the wind would bend those trees to the brink of their survival. When I hid in my house, I could hear the wind howling outside.

The wind moves--sometimes in ways I don't like. Such is the power of God. I can't hide from it.

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