I have known many winds


I have known many winds.

I have known the Santa Anas – the eerie stillness that precedes them, the way they arrive and warp the human psyche to bring about unrest at best, violence at worst. I have known the hot sticky air that blasts through the Southern Californian concrete like a devil blowing his horn. The blonde, blue-eyed beauties seek refuge while I let my hair whirl and tangle.

I have known how cold a gale can howl. And how fierce it can be. I have felt the air of the Antarctic and how far it has travelled so it can chill its way through my layers. It is possible to shiver and bundle and nuzzle next to a sweetheart and still feel bitter. Alone in the dark, the wind bashes and makes monsters of things.

I have known dust storms. The desert transforms into another planet when the fine powder kicks up from the cracked ground. I have felt my bare flesh sting, my skin peel open, my insides dried from the outside until I am a rattlesnake let loose. The sun disappears underneath a swirl of airborne sand. I have inhaled and coughed up black for days.

I have known the agitation a tempest can bring. The gusts persist and hunched wrinkled women are kept cooped up. I know what it feels like to walk around a corner and to be blown back to where I have come from.

Stay. Be calm. I have been known to want so much.

But I have known many winds. They have told me more than any stillness can divulge.

Dust storm on the playa.
Dust storm on the playa.
“Solace of the wind” on Wellington’s Harbour

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