Sometimes you go out for a walk only because your big white dog is yammering at you from the back yard yelling, “Human! It’s time! It’s time!” You agree, it is time, but the winds are gusting at 40 mph (64 kph) and it’s not all that warm. Not all that cold, either, but combine the wind with the 36 F (2 C) degree temps and it’s not Key West.

So you put on your fancy new wool and fleece mid-layer and your ultra-light semi-puffy jacket. You grab your new Buff, because, dammit, the wind in your face walking north isn’t going to be fun OR healthy. Your little fleece hat is in the pocket of your ultra-light jacket.

Things go OK until you get out in the open and you and your dog are blasted sideways, but you walked to school uphill both ways (actually, it’s true…) in the snow in Nebraska as a kid and this is NOTHING.

The wind has scoured the air and the clouds are low, bringing the sky within reach. Only a couple of undaunted ravens attempt to surf this wind. Un-trapped dead leaves dance past your feet. The patches of snow have not so much melted as evaporated.

You hope to see “your” herd of deer. You regret saying to them that you’re not friends. You’ve thought about it in the meantime and you think you might be. You hope you’ll see them, but the usual place is a mile straight into the wind the whole way. It doesn’t sound at all like fun, so you turn, resolving to take a Bear walk which is slow, rambling, lacking direction but revelatory of animal visits to your dog, anyway.

The fierce wind blocks out all sounds except the cry of a surprised raven. You stop while Bear does a thorough examination of the ground around a cottonwood. You look toward the train cars to see if your deer are anywhere around, but they aren’t. The walk continues when suddenly you notice someone has tagged the tank cars with the word, “Wild.” You love it.

You go on with no destination, stopping often for your dog to examine the ground. The sun has gone behind a small cloud, and the wind and light have brought a mountain close. The world has emptied of humanity and nothing remains but you and your dog, the immense Wild! beyond the train cars, the light and the mountain. In the strange solitude of this “ordinary” walk, you remember what you love and that it loves you.

18 thoughts on “Wind

  1. Congratulations on five years! I’m not sure when/if I pass such anniversaries. Even in a digital age, I’m bad at remembering such stuff!

  2. Martha, what is the story of the tank cars? Have they gone wild?

    A good temperature for you and Bear. Makea would probably still be hot. She is one of only two breeds that is allowed to winter outside in Finland. But it is going to be 35c here today. I must go and check on her. She finds a shady spot on the concrete.

    • The tank cars are stored here. The guy who owns the track makes a LOT of money from that.

      Bear’s breed (when it has a job) never goes indoors. She’s very happy in the cold, too, as were my huskies. Bear advises Makea to dig a deep hole.

      • The other dogs prefer big holes. They rotate between baking and the cool hole. Quite like the Finns who go from their saunas to icy cold lakes.
        Makea prefers the concrete. I set up the misting fan for her. It mists over the concrete and provides evaporative cooling for her. I don’t think I would ever get another black dog. They absorb too much heat.

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