Monday, April 26, 2010

The Wind

Today I drove to Lewisburg, WV to pick up the lamb from the butcher. The three lambs turned into two ice chests of stew, ground meat, chops and legs, bone in and boneless. Two ice chests of future feasts for us, our friends and customers.

I was happy that a friend drove with me. A friend who knew Philip for even more years than I, since they went to Roanoke College together. We grieve the loss of our friend, Philip. She was patient to hear me share stories of our courtship that she never knew. We shed a few tears, but laughed even more laughs, and enjoyed the luxury of a lunch together in a cafe. We chose the even windier path home, going through Crows and Sweet Chilybeate and Paint Bank and Potts Mountain.

The children stayed home and tended household and school chores. Then they had the opportunity to go to a grief support group for kids in town (with pizza), leaving me to put up the lamb, to milk, to clean my room.

The wind has been gusty today. It blew a few rain drops to the farm, then blew them out again. As I milked, I watched the cherry tree sway. I thought the little green cherries would surely blow away, but they didn't. What a tight grip Mama Cherry tree has on her little ones. The air smelled electric, like lightening and thunder. It smelled like the wind I smelled while standing at Fort Sewell, at Marblehead, Massachussetts, drinking in the air by gulps as it blew in off the ocean. How can I drink that same air, here in our valley in Virginia? I wanted to open my mouth wide and drink it by the gallons.

I watched the trees on the ridge, hickory, poplar, I don't know what else. They danced to the wind, a stately, formal dance, welcoming spring. One tossed a green leaf, like a handkerchief. Not like the leaf confetti of fall. Most of the leaves stayed intact. The willows, on the other hand, were wild and free, like a toddler, like a wild child, hair flying everywhere, out of control. Which do I enjoy the more? The stately formal? The wild chaotic frenzy? Hmm. The frenzy is a bit frightening, but I want to run and hold hands with them all.

Amazing how quickly milking time can pass while watching the dance of the trees.

I didn't think about work, or about grief, or about bills or taxes or labels or Quickbooks. Or kids or school or the dirty clothes.

Just the dance of the wind that smells like it came from Marblehead to visit. A big and powerful wind that makes me want to drink it in by the gallons.

What a gift. A couple of hours of peace and quiet, wind, a chunk of chocolate and hazelnuts for supper, with a glass of red wine to round things out. (Thank you, Julie.) And the continued sound of the dance of the wind. With peepers to add to the background.

I love our farm.


Debbie Millman said...

Your writing draws me in. I feel like I just visited the Hillery homestead. And it sounds like God gave you a gift today.

Beth said...

I'm so glad for your lovely, transcendent moment, Ginger. Sometimes I've found the wind to be very cleansing.

You write beautifully. said...

Thank you Debbie and Beth. I love the wind. Especially after reading The Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald.