© 2006 Katherine Kean
I’ve been reading about the wind. It’s high time, really. I live in a windy place - I guess everyone living near canyons and mountains does. It tends to be windy many mornings even when the rest of the city is experiencing calm. Then when it is windy for everyone we get extra.
When I first moved here with my then husband we were woken early one morning by half a house length of gutter that had worked loose from it’s mounting banging violently against the side of the house with each strong gust. It was beating the house so relentlessly that we were afraid that it would soon come crashing through the window. My ex husband bravely ran outside and wrestled the gutter to the ground. As the wind was showing no sign of abating and lacking a method to secure it he held it there in check while I searched for something to sever it with. A kitchen knife finally did the trick. Another time I was working in the studio on a windy day when I heard a loud BANG. I ran upstairs from the studio to see what was going on. On the deck I found that the wind had plucked the patio umbrella out of it’s holder and driven it straight into the side of the house where it remained stuck like an oversized, festive dart.
The book I’m reading, Jan DeBlieu’s Wind: How the Flow of Air Has Shaped Life, Myth, and the Land explains the many facets of wind from a cultural and journalistic perspective. I'm reading about the speed of wind, where and how it forms, how it has affected historical events. I'm especially enjoying learning the many ways the wind is known from exotic names (scirocco, foehn), to weather terms and sayings (a backing wind), to poetry ("the wind's feet shine along the sea," Swinburne).