Standing on my friends' deck, late at night and out in the country, I could hear the wind before I felt it whipping around my body. The noise in the distance, not quite distinguishable, but foreboding, on its way. I wrapped my long sweater around my short body and cocked my head to hear what was in store for us all.
When the wind came, it was loud. I heard it come up through the untouched woods, breathing hard. As if wind could be a team and they were rounding the corner of tonight. So strong and low, I braced myself for the inevitable.
And before I knew it, it was gone. It just roared by me, not stopping for answers or peace or even a cup of tea. It took some leaves and scared a few small animals and then it was gone. I guess it was then when I realized that I was not even a rest stop in its quest.
I don't know what scared me more--the ferocity of a force blown by or the indifference it showed when it was blowing through. Ultimately I guess I find comfort in strong winds that blow by without blowing me over.
It was a race, I think. It was collective and scary and whole. It sweated and groaned and bent branches. Its exertion and determination were inspiring and I clapped when it blew by.
But I was not the finish line and maybe that's what made it so disconcerting. It was going everywhere and would finish nowhere. But I happily applauded when it crossed my path, matching its intensity with a hearty "Bravo," as I thanked it for kissing my cheek on its way through. Because this is no mad dash.
This is a marathon.