Friday, January 13, 2012
Dark and stormy
As quickly as it started, the snow was over, leaving only the angry clouds and a momentary covering of snow on the ground. And the wind. And the much colder temperatures. Winter has returned to the mountains.
Last night, before winter arrived, I took a late evening walk in the warm rain, only partially protected from the wet. I don’t mind the rain or the cold that came today, but I don’t do wind very well. I’ve tried to learn to enjoy the experience of it, to take some enjoyment in its fierce wildness, but I’m not doing very well with that. When the wind arrives, my favored response is to retreat to the warmth of the cabin and wait for it to grow calm again.
I have tried to analyze this aversion, in some hope that I can find a way through or around it. To no avail. When I’m in the woods, I use all my senses, sight and smell and hearing. When the wind roars, that is disrupted. Watering eyes limit seeing, and even when I can avoid that, I find the birds and animals I look for are hunkered down, away from the wind and not very interested in being out and about or seen. The only sound I can hear is the wind itself. Bird calls, the stamp of a deer are all covered by the wind.
The wind tears at uncovered skin, reddening it, making it numb. My hands are covered, my face is covered, my eyes hide behind goggles. I may as well be a deep sea diver, so covered and so protected, so distant from the experience am I. And yet even with all that, the wind finds tiny openings, a pinhole perhaps, to force its way past my armor.
Wind reigns supreme and I retreat. The warm, calm cabin awaits.