One day last week I was reminded of powers we don’t see, just take for granted. I checked the weather in my usual manner: looked out the kitchen window at the thermometer and the back yard. The day was sunny and warm for the time of year and I decided to get a few groceries by bicycle.
What I had not seen or heard was the wind. When I first noticed it, almost immediately, I thought it was only a gust, a short burst in the gentler flow of air. In a block or two I was struggling to control the bike. I thought better of carrying parcels; instead I rode the bike to the nearby repair shop for some needed maintenance.
All day nature reminded me of the unseen power of wind, in ways beautiful as well as dangerous. Several young ladies were walking down the street, giggling and trying to hold their hair and clothing under control, sometimes unsuccessfully. Not far away, the wind had ripped metal cladding from a storefront and the police had set up baricades until it could safely be removed. Looking toward the creek from a high overpass, the tops of willow trees seemed to dance and sway, denying their roots and trunks. When I arrived home, the street beside my car was littered with the dry branches of a dying tree. I felt it necessary to check the car for damage.
Wind. It’s with us all the time; as long as the earth turns, currents are created in the atmosphere. Still, we associate it with concentrated events – with tornados, hurricanes, all manner of storms. We seldom notice it on its own.
And occasionally we are reminded of the power of the wind; we continue to try to harness that power the way we have come to harness flowing water.
Ah, but without the untamed strength of moving air how would we enjoy the beauty of willow trees and giggling young ladies?