Wind ripples through golden prairie wheat fields and ruffles a line of spotless white laundry stretching out from the porch of a white two-story farmhouse.


Wind moans through the gnarled and twisted trees and whips about the corner stones of Wuthering Heights while its cranky Yorkshire inmates scowl at each other around the enormous fireplace blazing with coal, peat and wood.

Wind and rain blow tendrils of Marianne Dashwood’s hair about her face as she stands on a rise overlooking John Willoughby’s estate, quoting Shakespeare and sobbing “Willoughby…Willoughby…”

Wind seems to be a key element in all of my favourite stories, in fact, it’s a part of the characters themselves.  Can you imagine Heathcliff and old Joseph abandoning the gales and raw authenticity of life at Wuthering Heights for a sedate and cultured existence down in the sheltered park of Thrushcross Grange?

Or Willoughby’s horses plodding slowly through a pastoral English scene in Sense and Sensibility, while a demure, unruffled Marianne perches primly beside him on the wagon seat, batting her eyes?  No way.  Marianne had to hold on to her bonnet ’cause he whipped up the team and sent them thundering through the Devonshire countryside.

Here is Cat Stevens, singing about the wind in his soul.

Ach, the breeze is always sweeter on the other side of the weathervane.  My real life  relationship to wind isn’t nearly as romantic.  It dries out my skin and tangles my already unruly hair.  It tries to push my motorcycle in front of transport trucks.  It blows the stench of the neighbour spreading his field with manure to our place.  It’s cold.

I suspect that if I were dropped into one of my favourite stories, I’d hate it just as much.  I can imagine barging through Wuthering Heights, bawling “Heathcliff, fix that knocking shutter, or I tell ye, I’ll hang a sketch of Edgar in Catherine’s room!”  Considering Heathcliff’s charming personality, I’d run the risk of getting the wind knocked out of me.  Suddenly stillness, polite society and tea parties at the Grange wouldn’t seem so wimpy after all.  Pinkies up.

Who has seen the wind?

Neither I nor you:                                                   

But when the leaves hang trembling,

The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?

Neither you nor I:

But when the trees bow down their heads,

The wind is passing by. – Christina Rossetti


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Arlene Friesen on March 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I just discovered your blog – via Jake, via Michael. What a pleasure to get inside your head and soul and discover all this beauty! You inspire me with your writing, you make me want to write beautiful witty things. Thanks for sharing your gift!


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