The Wind

“The Trees Are Really Sneezing Today”

The weather in 2018 has been a real shitshow. On the East Coast, we have freezing temperatures in the single digits and below, resulting in a “Bomb Cyclone.” While sounding like an excellent diss track from Eminem, it is actually a very bad thing.

On the West Coast, California is mostly not on fire, but this week we had serious rain, which resulted in torched areas breeding mudslides, destroying homes and families alike.

While Mother Nature can be a bitch, it’s worth remembering that she also gifted us with the noblest of elements. Sorry Captain Planet fans, it’s not heart. I’m speaking of El Viento, or The Wind as we like to say in Ingleses.

The wind has been my favorite element for as long as I can remember. Growing up in California, a Santa Ana would come roaring through our backyard as I lay snug in my bed, and I would spend all night listening to the hot air passing by me.

Unlike what Joan Didion and Raymond Chandler wrote, a Santa Ana never put me on edge. I didn’t roam the backyard with a machete, nor did my nerves jump or my skin itch.

My first memory of being amazed at the power of the wind was at the age of seven. I was running around in our oak tree laden backyard in the late afternoon when the winds began to blow. Instead of seeking shelter inside like a sane person, I climbed up a nearby tree and watched with awe as the gusts shook limbs above me, acorns rained down, and air stung my nostrils.

Wind plays a starring role in my favorite season – autumn. Watching leaves dance in a circle, tossed and turned by flurries of air brings true joy to my face, making me a dead ringer for the creepy neighbor in American Beauty who records floating bags and describes them as the most beautiful thing he’s ever filmed.

I see the other side of the coin when it comes to wind. Tornadoes and cyclones seem like terrifying natural disasters to me, and I live in an area that is 20 years overdue for a major earthquake. Even worse, we’re in a projected tsunami zone. But it’s tornadoes that haunt my dreams.

Wildfires are energized by fast-moving gusts and can result in hundreds of acres being torched in hours. Wind giveth and wind taketh, but none can say that the wind isn’t neutral.

Ancient Greeks were the first ones to label the four elements (according to the Google search I did), and I think that Earth, Wind, Fire, and Air still stand the test of time today.

Next time there’s a strong breeze where you are, do yourself a favor and stay outside for an extra few minutes and take the calm and chaotic gusts in. If possible climb a tree. Simply standing there is a strong reminder that whether or not wind is your favorite element, weather is neat.

Wind – 4 out of 5 Stars

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