Winter Wind

The wind slamming into the bricks of our 1917 house wakes me from a sound sleep. What is not repulsed by the walls and mortar manages to slip in through the yet uncovered window air conditioner. The dogs, banished from the comfort of the futon in the next room where the sleeping guest cat lies, are uneasy with the restless wind. So am I. I listen while the wind lifts somewhere above the roof. On some lofty, invisible highway it whines overhead with an unrestrained energy. Suddenly it darts down around the house again. I feel the house shivering as bits of cedar, seeds and stems are battered against the windows. One dog digs his claws into the carpet and scrabbles underneath the bed. The other pokes her cold nose into my face and I stroke her cool fur and feel the draft; she earns my pity and I throw my new snuggly over her to keep her warm. Then I sink further under the covers again.

Gusts come and go like surging surf, hissing air currents sucking against the foundations rooted in earth. Sleep has left me. Now with the wind I hear a new sound surging through my memory: the uneasiness of this past week’s conversations betraying loneliness, grieving, physical pain, anxiety over dangers facing growing children. Huddled in my bed, I know I do not know what it is like to endure what they are facing. I ponder the courage it takes to stand firm when feeling emotionally exposed and battered by a strange, cold wind of circumstance. Helpless to help, I try to pray them through the fierce winds tonight. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid.

The dogs join my husband in a settled sleep, but the wind has done its work on me. I give up and eventually head downstairs for a cup of tea and a book.