My old nemesis, the Wind, came late in the night and woke me from a sound sleep. Or maybe, it was the distant thunder that nudged my peaceful slumber. When the trees are covered with leaves, a strong wind will whip them around, making the thrashing leaves sound like ocean waves crashing onto the beach. My first thought is of all the birds who are trying to roost in the branches of one of those very active trees.
A tremendous crash of thunder right over the house made me jump up off the floor, even though a bright flash of lightning had let me know it was coming. Next, the rain came down in heavy, wind-swept sheets, and I had to lower the windows a bit. It poured for about five minutes, and for a few seconds there was the sound of hail tapping on the metal roof. A light drizzle followed and the wind had flown off to the southwest. Within 10 minutes, the clouds had parted and the twinkling stars were visible again, as I went back to bed.
I always enjoy a thunderstorm. I find the thunder and lightning very stimulating and I know it's a very important part of Nature's process. On the other hand, the wind has always been the hardest part of a storm for me to make peace with. There's no doubt, I find the wind fascinating and I am aware of its benefits. In the winter, I love to watch the wind-swept snow as if drifts over anything in its path. I love to stand on a lake shore and watch the white-caps as the tall dark waves roll over the lake. I probably have more reasons to like the wind than to dislike it and heaven only knows that I have no fear of wind.
At dawn, I woke and cleared away the foggy memory of a jolt I had felt in the night. Sitting up in bed, I looked around to see if anything had fallen over, but nothing had. Then, I noticed some new tree limbs outside the window. Checking it out, I found a large Box elder tree was stretched out over the house. It had fallen after I went back to bed, after the storm. It was a huge tree, with long, fat branches reaching out over the roof and porch—but luckily, the damage seemed to be minimal. It was hard though, not to think too much about the work it would be to remove the tree.
Once I was wide awake, I stood at the other end of the porch and gazed in discouragement at the condition that the wind-swept gardens were in. Like the trees, many of the tall garden flowers are in full bloom. Their foliage is at a peak and very vulnerable to the wind. I was saddened to see the wind's handiwork—tall sunflowers lying on the ground, their sunny yellow faces on top of each other. The zinnias too had been pushed over by the intense wind.
It's disappointing to put a lot of energy into a flower bed, wait all year to see the flowers bloom, then have the wind flatten them just as they are rising to their highest glory. So while I don't fear the wind itself, I do fear for the garden when a summer storm comes. I know it's something that I have to accept, but the wind will always be a challenge for me to make peace with.
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