The North Wind blew haziness and dreariness right out of the sky. All humidity gone. This morning as we loaded up the truck for market the drops of rain began to fall but they were quickly blown away as well.
Gusts of delicious cool wind poured into our valley and made me want to gulp it down, except for when our table and signs were blowing away and then I had to hold on for what seemed like dear life.
Wind is a fearsome and wonderful thing to me.
When we moved here to Catawba Valley our neighbors warned us about the wind. I assured them that we had experienced wind before. Then we experienced our first Thanksgiving here. We were in the middle of kitchen renovation. The old fridge was on the deck. The wind blew it over in the middle of our meal. It blew chairs off the deck. Blew the top of the table off the deck.
I began to believe that the neighbors knew what they were talking about.
The wind here howls like a steam engine sometimes as it runs along the Appalachian Trail, then takes a detour around McAfee's Knob, and heads straight for our farm, crashing into trees and barns. At times it comes up from Blacksburg, zooms past The Homeplace, then, like some obnoxious teenager with a hot rod, roars down the road from the west until it slams into my bedroom window.
A couple of weeks ago the wind smelled like cold ocean air. This morning at the farmer's market in Roanoke (Grandin Village), the air felt like cold mountains, like broad expanses, like cool meadows. It was gentle and teasing one moment, begging me to leave all my customers and go play in the country. The next, it whacked me in the back of my head with our lovely "Taste and See" sign and threatened to smash everything we owned since I didn't listen.
We had a great time at the market today, despite the petulant wind. Sold every loaf of bread, every pizza crust and brownie mix and most all our meat. Drank great coffee and chatted. Hugged necks and made plans. Came home and did a super fast cleanup with the kids then went back to town to take the boys to a movie. (Aren't I a nice mother?) Then the girls and I went to a park so they could play.
The wind danced with the tall old trees then swished around my park bench so violently I couldn't even read one page of the last part of my book. It made me feel nervous and slightly agitated. Almost fearful, like I am of the ocean.
And with good reason because around here the wind topples trees and barns and home roofs. And electric lines and computer lines and phone lines. So I had better type quickly!
The grass is tall and very near haying time. As we drove home from town, Nora noticed that the fields looked like waves of water and the wind blew them around. I wish you could see them. I think that sometime in the next day or two I must go sit on the top of our hill amidst the waves of grass.
So this evening the wind is causing the cherry trees and the willows to be all in a flutter. They remind me of nervous little ladies shaking their hands, gossiping about gloom and doom. The big trees on the ridge, poplar and hickory, look like men and women in a town hall meeting, heads swaying, muttering back and forth, wondering what they can do to make sure that wind doesn't stay longer than absolutely necessary.
The wind howls through my open windows and breathes fresh air into my room, making me feel alive. Almost too alive. I think I will shut the window before I go to sleep. Enough, already!
By the way, I wanted to mention a good book Julie gave me. It is called TEAR SOUP, by Pat Schwiebert. Nora and I read it a couple of days ago. Great book. Illustrated in the manner of a children's book, but not limited to children. Actually, it seems to be written for adults. I have to wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who has experienced a loss.
Is there anyone out there who hasn't experienced a loss?
And for anyone else who is wishing a book to help them walk through their loss, I found Ann Hood's book, COMFORT to be incredible. It is a memoir covering the death of her daughter and her grief. Well written, poignant. I wailed a couple of times as I read through her experiences and remembered my own.
Yesterday I changed our voicemail greeting on the telephone answering service. For a couple of weeks, every time I would call home to the kids and get the leave a message notice, it would hurt me in my stomach. "Hello, you have reached the home of Philip and Ginger Hillery." So, in the middle of baking, I changed it. It felt like a door closed. I cried. Just for a moment. So now you have reached the Hillery family at Full Circle Farm.
Funny, the weird firsts.
What in the world does grief and literature have to do with the wind here in our valley? Hmmm. It comes and goes. Sometimes it is gentle and at times feels violent, like it will throw me to the ground. it blows on me and many many others, and isn't selective.
The good thing about the wind is that I think it blew the no-see-ums away for the evening. And I don't feel sticky in the slightest. Maybe I will leave the windows open and pull up the down comforter for one last weekend.
Thanks for being patient with my meandering walks through blogland.