The world is animated by the wind. This invisible, mysterious force can bring a landscape alive. Its absence can cast a calm stillness over the earth. On barren mountain tops its power is barely perceptible; in forests and seas its presence becomes manifest.
Winds are wild, and sometimes destructive. When we look deeply into the nature of wind, when we reflect on its life, its journey to us, we can see the interconnected nature of all things. The light from the sun travels to the surface of the earth, where air is heated unevenly over land and sea causing it to expand and rise at different rates until this rising and displacing air builds in billowing gusts that rock the oceans and ripple the seas. The wind can make rag-dolls of trees, ripping them from their roots.
The beauty of the wind is its dynamism. It is not constant, nor predictable. One minute it lifts the place; the next there is a lull of still abiding peace. On gentle days it is god’s whisper; In more rambunctious form it is a monster’s roar, a voice that erupts with a wild and angry energy.
When it blows, the air tattoos the surface of canals, lakes, seas, blowing beautiful patterns of rhythmic energy into the liquid silence. Trees bow down in submission, as leaves, branches and roots, dance to its music, its mad, manic energy. Forests roll around in circles sending signals to the clouds, waving to the skies, and laughing to the stars above.
When furious it blows blackened clouds across angry skies. The wind is a river and in its torrent clouds race each other seeking shelter, refuge from the howling ghosts of moving air.
What is the wind?
We often ‘see through’ space. We don’t notice air as much as say, earth or water. It is empty, invisible. Our attention is drawn towards a presence rather than an ‘absence’. We don’t see space but the objects in space, yet it is this space that ‘holds’ everything else, allowing all things to be. The air is an ocean; the wind is the waves and powerful swells that pass through the ocean. Pure energy.
The wind speaks to us through sight and sound, but perhaps more directly, we feel its presence through our sensitive skin-wrapped bodies. If the earth can be thought of as a body, the wind is its breath – no different from the breath that animates and vitalises our own living bodies.
Do you pay attention to the wind or are you barely aware it’s there?
Notice the presence of the wind when you walk about your world.
How do you sense it?
What does it feel like?
The wind travels great distances gathering scents and aromas – can you detect any subtle sense of smell?
Notice the lull between gusts, the stillness, the silence. Then watch the world come alive with joy as the earth’s lungs explode on the atmosphere. Notice as much detail as possible. How does it feel in your body?
Breathe deeply and feel your chest and belly expand; then let go and feel the body deflate. Can you experience your breath and the wind as being intimately interconnected?
Engage the senses as the breeze comes alive. What is the quality of the air? Is it warm or cool, soft or strong? Feel its firmness, it’s strength, it’s boldness – What can it teach you? Can you borrow this energy and use it in your own life? Can you be like the wind – flowing, firm, and free?
Let it wash over you, like water; bathe in it, savour its touch, let it calm and soothe your mind, blowing worried thoughts and stressful feelings away like leaves, scattering your cares into the atmosphere, disintegrating into infinite space.
Let go of any sense of ‘knowing’ what this phenomenon is; Open to the mystery by asking yourself: What is the wind?
Welcome its soft hug, like a lost friend returning.