Day of Strong Wind

I hear a groaning in the giraffe-like necks of the redwoods across the road from me as this second day of heavy wind blows down the coast. Here I have some sanctuary from what blows in. The trees nearby are always so remarkably strong and silent, the two-hundred foot tall redwoods and eucalyptus. These last two days they have moaned and creaked as if in a Hollywood horror show, as if crying that they will not survive some massive genocide of bark and leaves, of nuts and limbs, of bird nests and embedded beetles. I look up at them from below and have few words of consolation for them. Maybe this will be the strongest wind this region has ever known, maybe everything over six feet tall will meet its final fate these next few hours.

Since I am only five foot-eleven I’m pretty sure I will survive the high wind. Six foot, well, that’s a dangerous limit, and everything beneath, including me, should be safe to live on in peace and keep searching for that elusive and promised happiness until the next storm. It’s all man-made promises and predictions anyhow, this length of time that’s been promised to me as I watch the wind and the hours whirl by. The ticking that seems to clock the speed of my thinking and the rate of burn of my consciousness these days hardly skips a beat in this current wind storm. I still feel pretty quiet and calm inside.

When I looked overhead this afternoon while strumming ukulele, I could see hawks not fly but coast downwind at incredible speeds, then flit a few tail feathers to pull them out of the stream of wind and send them leisurely on another course. I am so amazed that they can play in wind that could slam them into a tree top in an instant, and yet, rather than slam, they use the energy of this high-flying storm to enjoy themselves looping endlessly in up-and-down merry-go-round circles around the tips of the tallest trees I can see in the sky. In my next life that’s how I want to strum my ukulele.

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