By Laurel Pattenden
The association of March and wind has been with us since elementary school.
Arts and crafts would always involve kites in some way. Looking back, I can’t think of a worse time to be out flying kites in southwestern Ontario. Frozen ground or mushy mud. Snow covered or rain soaked. Plus, lots of wind usually cold.
Do you remember Evel Knievel? Well, he said, “I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair”. Was he ever in the Huron Diocese, during March, flying a kite? Granted we do have plenty of fresh air. Hats are the usual attire unless you can brave having red, frozen ears that will probably ache later. Carting around pockets filled with facial tissue for our drippy noses. Unless it is a lamb of a March. Where did that saying come from? In like a lion and/but out like a lamb. Let me know if you have an answer to that. Anyways, March and its winds.
At night, through our slightly opened bedroom window, the wind chimes (cathedral tones, of course) sound the weather changes. The gentle breezes create a calming tune and fierce winds tangle the chimes into a knot. In a way we are like the chimes reacting to the presence and power of the wind.
Many people in the world have not experienced snow, monsoon rains or desert heat but we have all felt wind on our face. In a way it makes us feel alive. Evel Knievel had that right. Years ago, while working in Long Term Care, I was transporting a gentleman (pushing his wheelchair) from his room to the awaiting ambulance to be taken to the hospital. The family had chosen the hospital for end-of-life care.
The day was sunny with a pleasant breeze. The EMS crew were going to load him into the van and then go into the office for the paper work. Thinking it was such a nice day I suggested they do the paper work first. Then quickly I pushed the gentleman out into the sun and the breeze. We walked as long as we could until the crew was back standing at the ambulance, patiently waiting. I don’t know if they were peeved or not at me. I do remember saying to them that this would be last time the resident would feel the wind on his face. They seemed to pause and let a little more time pass. Then he was placed in the van.
The novelist E.M. Forster wrote: “What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?”. Since the beginning of primordial or old growth forests the sound of wind in trees has not changed. Whether we first heard the wind passing in the trees while sitting in our stroller or recently walking in the park. It’s sound is ingrained in us. Even though the sound of wind hasn’t changed it does come in a variety of intensity and meaning. I find strong winds can be unsettling and fresh breezes renewing.
I like to think of wind as the breath of God and Spirit. The wind of God blowing over the earth (Genesis 1:1,2) even before light! Genesis 2 mentions God’s breath as the breath of life. Jesus breathed on the disciples (John 20:22) before the mighty sound of wind arrived on Pentecost (Acts 2:2).
This March, can you imagine the swirling winds as the breath of God? Can you imagine them entering into you as Spirit? Is the breath of Life renewing you? Is it in your lungs and heart? Is it in your very soul? While the March winds blow around you take time to fill and renew with the breath of God. Maybe we will feel lighter than a kite!
Remembering my walk with the resident I think my hope was for him to feel alive. To remember. I have no way of knowing one way or another. My prayer for him on that day and us today is to feel the breath of God in our hearts.
Laurel is retired and likes to spend her time in her art studio.
Illustration: Laurel Pattenden. Go Fly a Kite