You wake to a torrent of wind.
Glass cranked back, the windows welcome it in, rushing like a stampede, that first day you cantered in the woods and it was glorious and bursting and you didn’t fall. The wind comes like that, a wild freeing that has no fear. The trees feel it – they lift glowing branches to the light of early sun through haze and humanity’s press. Tossing, dancing, clapping for joy in the sky. The leaves are wheels on the train that thunders next door, churning on and up, on and up, away into who knows what mystery of distance. The steel rails vibrate, the air vibrates, your breath vibrates, and the train is gone. The leaves fly on.
When the clouds roll in, riding the back of the wind and swooping to cover the sun, you smile. The sun catches on the ragged edges of vapor, holds its own against the onslaught of mist and obscurity. It cannot be overpowered. You watch the golden beams carve their way through the cloud, shivered, splintered, cast a thousand directions. Backed by the song of the wind. It is Beauty of a kind that exists nowhere else but the sky, that limitless canvas declaring Glory. The light is huge, wide, brave. You are small, empty, wild. You think of the hours you spent lying on your stomach on the tin roof of the barn, feeling its ridges press into your legs, your chest, your hands. You think of the many skies you watched, as the sun warmed the tin and the clouds touched your face, so high. You are wild in the beauty, empty of yourself, small in the echo of the wind in your ears.
And when the rain comes on a sudden, pouring like a waterfall of words and stars and splintered light, like a dream of yesterdays and a hope of tomorrow, like the endless reaches of imagination, everything falls back. The world retreats, and you can hardly see your hand in front of your face for the downpour, baptism from heaven. The rain falls in your eyes, before you and around you and within you, drenching your skin, your hair, your clothes. Your lips are wet with tears not your own, cried out by the depths of the storm. Above you there is thunder, there is lightning, there is the roar of water falling. Within you there is only joy. You glory in the storm and the storm whispers back, whispers into your heart of hearts, touches your cheek with the finger of the sky. You take those whispers and hide them, deep within your soul, a handful of promises to cling to when the air is dry and the heavens are empty and the leaves are still. Memory grasping for the future. Your skirt, soaked and heavy, slaps at your ankles, its weight a flag of victory, and surrender, and wild abandonment.
And all is wind, and all is rain, and all is broken light on wet pavement, and you laugh at the birds fleeing the storm, the endless cloud above and wind of longing under wing.