Wind is a powerful force. Cool and warm air masses collide: a simple but sometimes deadly meeting of opposites. Who could expect conflict to be altogether pleasant?
The wind has howled incessantly these past couple days. No matter the season, I’d rather stay indoors than face that wind. Wind unsettles me, gets up my nose, into my ears. The force of it unbalances me. Fencing, fixing, any yard work at all is hardly doable in the bluster and that great force is sure wreaking havoc on the south west end of the barn roof.
There’s a cow outside as I write this, calving in the wind. I feel for both of them.
Wind mirrors for me the challenges of life. As much as we’d like to ignore them, they stream in packing a surprising punch and there’s no place to hide. Cover your head with a blanket, medicate yourself and complain: you can’t stop the wind.
Everyone’s facing his or her own wind too. Though the grass sometimes seems greener and we can hide in “Why me?” for a bit, nobody’s exempt from conflict. What’s wonderful about the winds of change is that we can opt to be firmly rooted trees that bend, flexible but not toppling.
Over a year ago I learned to meditate. It’s the best thing I ever did for myself. No wonder people have done this for centuries; it works. I was looking to fix my life, but got something better. After all, there will always be some crisis around the corner: legal, health, personal, but I’m discovering all the big stuff that used to knock my knees out from under me is small stuff now. And it’s not my life that’s changed or the people in it: it’s me and how I look at all that stuff that was once about me and my shattered ego.
Farmer says to expect wind with the change of season. One day is calm, another moves in with a cold nip and ice crystals. Spring’s pushing in, a time traditionally associated with new birth, fertility, hope, but never ease and carefree living. Labour, thaw and freeze, adjustments, the odd blizzard and learning experiences come with spring.
Walt Disney had me sold as a kid on happy ever-afters. That’s the magic of television. The magic of spring is encased in afterbirth, not glamour. Hardly street smart or camera savvy, wind scatters dull looking seeds, shattering last year’s dead plants with the force of possibility. We can nurture the seeds we want to grow with our powerful thoughts and expectations or grow the opposite with worry.
It’s nice to look back on a season like winter and see how I’ve grown. Truth be told, as much as I love the physical aspects of farming, it’s increasingly because they mirror the spiritual. As much as I’ve left my fingerprints on this land, this land has changed me from the inside out.
Often people remind me that although I long for a certain kind of Saskatchewan, the world doesn’t work that way. Cynicism and sarcasm are paraded above environmental action. But this week I met the opposite force: a lady who started her town’s recycling depot in her own yard because she couldn’t stand the thought of what burning trash was doing to the land.
I thanked her tearfully for her inspiring act. If Saskatchewan had a Nobel Peace Prize, she’s earned it. If you wonder what I mean by spiritual, take a good look at our heroine. Her actions are spiritual by example, powerful, trail-blazing and brave. Today her tidy town (Bengough) has one of the most forward-looking recycling programs and a year-round operating outdoor pool with solar panels that paid for themselves in three years. Cynical people don’t build communities like this.
My columns can be rather windy but keep in mind: wind can be good. Our ancestors once relied on windmills to pump water for their livestock without electricity. There are so many possibilities to consider more deeply and pursue with our intention and conscious efforts in this, the spring of 2012. The crocuses are blooming; what’s stopping us?
Whereas “Oh no, not the wind again,” was once my whimper against the heavy thought of facing life’s challenges, “Bring it on.” is my heart’s response from the farm these days.