"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.”
I was born near the windy city. (Sidenote: There is a long-standing Chicago debate about whether the nickname is from the gusts of wind of Lake Michigan or the hot air from politicians.) In any event, I was born near there. I grew up near there. I spent the majority of my life near there.
And then, the wind blew west.
I don’t know how else to describe it really. If I could describe it I would. But some things in life aren’t describable. They are simply known.
Wind is often associated as a mysterious guiding force. Guiding force because it signals change. Mysterious I suppose because it blows wherever it wants without ever explaining itself.
Remember Mary Poppins?
At the beginning of the movie we come across Bert, a colorful narrator singing a sweet song until he pauses thoughtfully, sensing something is coming. The wind had changed.
“Winds in the east, mist coming in, / Like somethin' is brewin' and bout to begin. / Can't put me finger on what lies in store, / But I fear what's to happen all happened before.”
Enter Mary Poppins who completely turns a very needy family upside down. She teaches them how to love and care for each other. And then the wind changes and it is time for her to leave. It is not explained why the wind changes and she has to go. She just does. It is part of her mystery.
Another Disney example? Consider Pocahontas. After she sings about the colors of the wind she finds herself at a crossroads. Which way should she go? She listens to the mysterious force as it sings, “Listen to your heart, you will understand.” She uses it as a guide to follow her true path. Her decision becomes clear. One way is dormant, the other windy.
Tired of Disney? How about another example from a classic rock song, “The future’s in the air, I can feel it everywhere, Blowing with the wind of change.” (Wind of Change by Scorpions).
Want more? Wind signaled the death of Beth in the film Little Women. Dorothy is caught in a tornado that takes her to Oz. Bob Dylan sang about the Wind of change blowing wild and free.
Why wind? I think it is because it acts like the spirit or our deeper intuition.
We can’t see it. We can’t contain it. We can’t control it. We simply feel it and watch what it does to the world around us.
The wind speaks to the heart in a language the head can’t understand.
And it changes things.
It tells when a storm is coming or when peace finally arrives. It ruffles feathers. Shakes things up. Beckons us on.
It is the anecdote to stagnation.
And if we don’t pay attention to it, listen to it, feel it and follow it, there is no guarantee it will come around again in the same way.
We all have had those “windy” moments in our lives haven’t we? When we know something deep down in our knower?
The time you were sitting in your car and you were at a stoplight and you realized you needed to find another job.
The moment you looked across the table and realized the relationship was over.
The “I can’t shake this feeling that something is about to happen tonight" as you get ready to go and then it proves true.
When you are out for a walk worrying about something and feel a steady gentle breeze and you know this too shall pass.
When you meet someone and shake their hand and think “I am not sure where this ride is going but it is going to be a ride.”
How about the time you couldn’t get a friend off or your mind only to find out they really were in a bad spot?
Or the moment you knew it was time to say goodbye.
The phone call you never wanted to get.
The phone call you were waiting for.
The coin flip.
Winds of change.
Alright Carrie, get to the point. Why are you talking about wind?
Why am I?
I think because I am waiting for it. Waiting for Mary Poppins to come. Waiting for the wind to tell me where to go.Maybe that is a cop out but maybe not.
I feel like I am sitting in the sailboat in the middle of the lake and the air is still. And I can’t do a darn thing about it. Sure, I could get out my paddle and row. But I don’t know which direction to row to. And I suppose I could go back to the shore. But I look back and the shoreline disappeared in this in-between space.
I have cabin fever. Ever seen Muppet’s Treasure Island? (Sidenote: I love the Muppets and that movie is a sleeper classic) There is a scene where the Muppets go for days on a ship without wind. And they start to go mad. Totally silliness abounds as they go a little crazy. I am not going crazy but I do understand where they are coming from.
The sun is hot out here. And I am wondering if I am stuck out here.
But, I am slowly coming to the realization that if the wind blows where it wants and it is not blowing now then I have to trust that too.
What do I do? I remember Mary Poppins.
There is another song they sing in the movie. “Let’s go fly a kite.” It is a celebratory song. One that I can sing too after the wind changes. Until then, I am stuck here in the middle of the water.
Well then, since the wind isn’t here I should probably ask the sun what I should do.
So I do.
I am surprised. It answers me.
Rest awhile in the shade of the sail. The wind always changes.
And get your kite ready.