Wind Spirit

The wind is blowing—one of those constant, big-gust kinds of wind. In an old house like ours, the windows really rattle. It’s kind of scary.

When it comes to air movement, I’ve never been comfortable with much more than a gentle breeze. For most of my life, the vein system in my head has been super-sensitive to air pressure changes, and wind is often the harbinger of a rapid shift in the barometer. This one is ushering down an Arctic air mass. Brrrrrrr.

As I’ve entered my early elder years, I’m finding my whole system less reactive to migraine triggers. I don’t know what’s happened to them, but wherever they went, I’m profoundly grateful. The memory of over fifty years of lying in a darkened room, nauseated and in pain, hasn’t gone anywhere, though. During many of those migraine miseries, I was listening to a hard wind. I think my tendency to stiffen during a windstorm is a long-ingrained bodily resistance.

But, oddly, I also have quite a love affair with wind. When it’s really roaring through, there’s that delicious fear that something awe-full may happen. Living close to the woods as we do, we witness the wild pruning that a good wind performs in the forest. Not a wise time for a jaunt to the pond, unless you want to get brained by a falling log. But when the wind has moved on, there is a new supply of firewood out there for the hauling—a windfall, literally.

I adore hearing the wind blow through conifers and broadleaf trees and around huge boulders—all different harmonies sung by the air and land. Windsong.

I love to watch great sweeps of treetops, bending as if dancing as one.

In our Judeo-Christian tradition, the Holy Spirit has most often been described in terms of wind. In Hebrew the word for wind and for spirit is ruach and in Greek it is pneuma. Ruach: roo-akh, with that soft gutteral “k” of Hebrew; to pronounce it you have to add a bit of wind to the effort.

The wild, windy Spirit of God blows where she will, scripture tells us. Just like the winds of Earth. I love to see and hear this traditional expression of Spirit, roaring, whispering, dancing, singing around our land.

This wind reminds me that, along with its beauty, God’s Spirit is a force to be respected, to be reckoned with. “May the wildness and the warmth of God, be with you, now and always” say our New Zealand sisters and brothers.

May you see and hear and feel the ruach of God yourself today. And hang on to your hat.

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