Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Wind Woman, OKC, OK
Wooden Windmill, Western KS
Native Americans of the Kansa tribe that lived in the central prairies were known as the “people of the south wind”. Growing up on the plains of central Kansas made it easy to understand why. It seems as if there is always a wind of some sort blowing across this land and the summer winds are most noticeably from the south. Without even being consciously aware of it, I came to know that this invisible energy force had become an integral part of my existence. Shortly after our family had transferred to the Carolinas, we were sitting outside on the deck one calm evening. And I remarked that I had finally realized what was subliminally missing—it was the perpetual movement of the winds that had been replaced by a calm silence.
The native Indians prayed to the Great Spirit of the South to melt the ice that gathers around our hearts with the warm breath of compassion. They were wise to associate these summer winds with the growing season—winds that could shake the tall corn stalks up towards the heavens. I’ve been fascinated by these natives all my life because I believe they lived a harsh but harmonious life out in God’s creation every day of their lives. They were convinced of the existence of a Great Spirit and the sacredness of the earth. Much wisdom is lost when we distance ourselves from direct contact with the land and sky. Violent storms are fueled by moisture laden southerly winds from the Gulf of Mexico colliding with colder air dropping down from Canada into the central plains. These powerful events generally produce circular updrafts to form the intense whirling and straight line winds that serve as reminders of our fragile existence. Summer storms in the plains with their towering thunderheads personify the energy and majesty of God’s character.
Because God is a conscious spiritual being, His presence is more to be felt than seen. I've intimately felt His presence while walking the beach with the ocean's breezes, sitting under ancient pines as the wind sang in the needles through Colorado canyons, standing by the Dead Sea at Qumran while dry desert winds shifted the sands, and quietly listened to gentle breezes rustling the leaves in my own back yard.
The warm southerly winds are a welcome relief to naturally cool sweaty brows and backs. Red tail hawks glide easily on this uplifting wind beneath their wings. I learned that lesson early on while bailing hay under the Kansas sun. That was quite possibly the most exhilarating, fulfilling, healthy, dusty, and honest sweaty work I ever accomplished in my entire life. When we’re out in God’s creation and enjoying the experience of the life He has given to us, we can begin to feel His presence. I believe God is in these winds more so than anything else in His created universe. And these caressing breezes provide closeness for some of the most sublime moments in our life as a child of God.
Dodge City, Kansas had the highest overall average wind speed last year while Nashville, Tennessee had the most wind events at 21 in the USA. The Windy City of Chicago wasn't even in the top ten as that moniker was tagged in the 1800's because of their "hot air" politicians! —USA TODAY 1/17/17