Friday, 4 September 2009

Making friends with the Wind

I could here the wind rocking the tree tops out by our river. My pinafore flapped over the bowl of figs hiding them from view: goodbye for the moment. Jamming prep put on hold.

Along my spine there came a shiver as I heard the sound of the wind ratchet up another notch. I stood and watched my pinafore. "Do you want to come play with me?" the wind said as it tussled the fabric playfully.

But in my mind I was not here. I had backtracked in memory to late January: to the day, the longest day, of the Tempest. Oh fearsome strong was the wind on that day. Not a wind but a raging, roaring surge of air that was supreme in its arrogance. "You are all smaller than me" was it's message. And we were.

I suppose, in the scale of things, that it was not perhaps as fierce as the fiercest of hurricanes or tornadoes. But it was a big wind nevertheless. Big enough to blow trees over: loads of trees. Big enough to carry gallons and gallons of water which fell onto the land which fed it into the water and made our river big and full of an energy which was sufficient enough to carry away in its surge the trees which had fallen down into it.

We laid all day in the caravan, tucked under blankets, freezing, wet, mentally blitzed, hearing the wind roar its way towards us as if it was an army marching as to war. Phone lines were cut, electricity was cut. The outside world seemed miles away.

For hours the wind made its surges. We dozed. But in our minds we still heard the roar of the wind-fronts approaching us through the trees. From all sides it came. We seemed to be surrounded by an army of wind fronts. It was the tramping sound which was the worst. How can a wind sound like it has feet, but this one did. Big booted feet. Stomping towards us. Coupled with the sound of the wood of the house, what was left of it, moaning its anxiety about being moved about so forcefully, the elderly gate of the front porch mooing like a cow as it was bashed about against the side of our campervan, and the tarpaulins on the roof beams, what was left of them, flapping angrily with whip-cracks of temper, as the wind tore at them and eventually did them unto death.

And the legacy of that long day was that I flinch when I hear the wind, any wind, play amongst the treetops. Breezes I am OK with. Not so good with windier winds.

Today, I made a grand flinch. Along my spine it ran. For today the wind was a tad on the wild side. Not naughty, just frisky. Sufficient to blow my pinny across the figs I was prepping for jam. Sufficient to lock my mind back to the day when we almost became passengers of the wind.

'Twas no good. For this fear was starting to feed itself into a bigger fear, and that was of being outside in the wind. So I took a deep breath, and reduced this fear by telling it that today's wind was a gentler wind not an angry wind. Stimulating, not destructive.

My eyes caught and held Hubs's eyes as he crossed with the tray of tea for the builders, who were even then up high, working on our roof. Unspoken memories flooded between us: it is surprising how much can be said in a glance.

Things I have learnt today: That when one has had the hugest of huge experiences, which has shaken one to the very root of one's being, that sometimes it can take a while to get over the shock of that experience.
That one has to careful not to let that shock build on the original memory and make it more that what it actually was.
That sometimes smaller triggers can spark those heftier memories into life.
That it is better to cloak that original memory in loving memories rather than let the more difficult memories have the upper hand.

So: In January last, the biggest of big winds blew our way. With great teamwork Hubs and me battled our way through. Wow! How exciting it was! This I will have to work on, but at least its a start! And if you have had a horrendous experience which sometimes pops to the surface of your mind and looks like spoiling your day: Wrap that memory round with lovingness and find something good within that experience.

I carried on with my task, the wind continued to blow and got stronger, but I concentrated on my task and didn't scuttle away inside out of its way. That, I think, will soften that other memory so that in time every time a strong wind blows I do not automatically click on to that day in January when a Tempest blew our way. Rearranging my mental filing cabinet containing the Tempest Memory is what I am doing.

Plus I made four pots of marrow and ginger jam, eight pots of fig, jam and six pots of tomato chutney. Crikey my halo is shining bright!

Sending you pot-fulls of blessings.....

(January 2009: A Big Wind: Part One, part Two, and part Three.)


DUTA said...

Hi Vera,

I have great fear of strong winds and storms from childhood, and as the weather gets more and more crazy because of global warming - this fear doesn't vanish from my life. We like the elements of Nature, but the facts are that they become more and more dangerous. What I used to hear in childhood "stay away from forests (fire) and from waters (floods)" seem to be like a good advice.

Anyway, your pots of jam are a real blessing. Enjoy eating the jam and all the other goodies that you've made.

Vera said...

Hi Duta, I'm sure we will enjoy the jams and chutneys I have made - in the midst of winter they are a happy reminder of summer days and bring back the warmth of the sun. Mind you, even in winter the sun shines with quite some strength here, but nevertheless, to eat something one has produced in the summer really does bring back the sun.
Oh so you know what I mean when I say that big winds send shivers down my spine! Thankyou for sharing that experience with me.