It is the month of winds; the month that begins with a roar. The air keens with a single, high-pitched note. I don’t know what it is, except that it is a note borne of the wind’s passage through structures of glass and steel. A road sign rattles on its pole. Streetlights wobble and chink. One of last year’s leaves crackles across the path. Hawthorn twigs hiss and trees creak. The bass note is the boom and roar of the gale.
I am a child of the March winds, blown into the world with the rush of wind in my ears. Perhaps this is why the wind-song comforts and exhilarates me. Perhaps this is why the rush of the March winds feel like being born once more.
Wind is perhaps the most mysterious of weather. It has no substance, yet it can raze towns and sculpt the hardest of landscapes. It has the power to be a balm on a hot day and a misery on a cold one. It appears from nowhere and drops just as quickly. Some say that it is possible to capture the wind in a knot of yarn, or to conjure it with a whistle. But such tricks require magical skills, because wind isn’t a thing that an ordinary person can hold.
I see the wind only by its actions and by what it gathers up. Tall birches that jerk and sway. Scots pine gently undulating. A service tree waggles slender fingers tipped with grey-green buds. Red-leaved shrubs move like a whip of flame. Daffodils bob crazily and grass becomes flickering ripples of silver. Catkins slant as one, like tiny wind socks. Great hunks of clouds are moving. A dozen wood pigeons sway in the highest branches of a sycamore.
How can the movement of air be so powerful? When it is behind me, it urges me forwards. Before me and I must fight to move. It roars past my years and whips my hair. But when I stand in the wind, when I let myself be still, the air gentles. I see it still whipping up the trees. I can hear its boom. But if I offer no resistance, it befriends me. I feel it like the breath of the earth, urging me on, blowing me out of my winter torpor towards the light of life and spring.
Blogger Book of the Month: Encourage a child to watch birds by Denzil Walton
This little gem of a book is designed to help adults encourage children to get away from their computer screens and outside to watch birds. The book gives some good, basic facts about the birds you and your child might see and provides questions you can ask to encourage the child to watch the birds and talk about what they’ve seen. I know a bit about birds and still learned new facts, but this book makes it easy to start even if you know nothing at all about birds. The activities and discussion points are open enough that they’re suitable to use with a child of any age and you don’t need to live in the countryside to use this book – it focuses on parks and gardens, even apartment buildings. It begins with the easiest of activities – watching ducks on a pond – and progresses to things like how to use binoculars and dissecting owl pellets! The book is well-written, easy to understand and there is a sense of great enthusiasm for the subject throughout the pages. Thoroughly recommended to share with a child. You can find Denzil here and his book is available on Amazon.