At night, the wind whips across the sky and rattles the stone walls of the house where I am trying to sleep. The wind is ferocious. It is wild. It howls and rolls itself across the land relentlessly. It flies off the ocean with the force of wild horses. It screams loudly and is a constant presence as alive and willful as any human. The rain mixes with it and it becomes baptismal for anyone out in it, a cold invitation to let go. Each morning the wind dies down as if making space for the orderliness of the sun and its rainbows of light that grace the green fields.
My boots are constantly wet.
“How am I ever going to get them dry without a wood-burning stove?” I ask.
Don’t go out in the rain,” my friend replies sensibly.
But how can I not? Going out in the rain and wind is a solitary pleasure. I go after dark when the wind picks up. I put on several layers, and lace up my ever-soggy hiking boots.
Some nights, the sky is bright and clear of clouds, the moon illuminates the path, and the infinity of stars shines overhead. Other nights, the rain bursts from the sky like a thousand years of grief and I can see nothing, not the next step in front of me, only feeling the gravel and grass of the path underfoot and the touch of wind on my hands and face. I trust my muscle memory of the path in front of me and walk on.
On the night the wind shook my house, I stepped out into the pitch dark, bundled and ready to face whatever it was that was out there. Walking across the road onto the path, I struggled to stand in the wind. The force was so strong, I thought I might fall over. The howling wind pressed cold kisses against my face and flew onward. I listened to its music, a low moan across the land. It is a presence with no substantiality, an emptiness as palpable as anything that can be grasped in my hand. I push back against it, trying to stay upright and balanced with each step. It was such an effort, I thought, what am I doing out here? I might stumble into a blackberry thicket or fall into a ditch. Maybe I should go inside.
No, something deep in me stirred. Stay. Wait. Listen. Let your senses awaken. Don’t go just yet. It’s not going to kill you, is it?
Maybe? Who knows what’s lurking out there? I think.
Muted silence within.
I take another step into the dark.
Suddenly, my body longs to wiggle. I feel the rhythm of my own heartbeat as a percussion instrument. I spread my arms outward and feel the wind pulling at my shoulders, stretching them and making space between my joints, like partner yoga. I leap up into the wind and feel the wind twisting my legs in the air.
“Yowl!” I exclaim, weaving my voice into the howl of the wind, and leap up again. I feel my legs in the grip of the wind before gravity takes hold, and pulls me downward again.
The wind is my dance partner. The wind pulls me, twists me, turns me, and shapes each movement. The wind is unpredictable, strong, and intimate. I surrender to it, trust gravity to help me land gracefully, and let the wind reveal the dance to me. The emptiness of the wind breaths spaces into me and I experience myself not as a heavy body, a burden that I am dragging through this karmically twisted lifetime but as an infinity of space. Space flowers between my cells. The wind blows within each cell, vibrating them until they sing out in ecstasies. Dancing with the wind, there is no thought about the past or future, only the touch of the wind on my skin, keeping the time of the dance, and finding the ground again as my feet land back onto the earth. The immediacy of the present moment sweeps away the cluttered thoughts and my mind rests in the mystery of the dance. Every partner contains an infinity of space, just like the wind, whose emptiness tantalizes me. Every moment contains the eternities if I can only stop fighting it. In the dance, I leave behind compulsive thinking and the freshness of this moment enters me.
After sex, my partner asks me about my fantasies.
“I am an eco-sexual.”
In the morning I offer the land tea. A song bubbles up in me.
I love you like the wind, moon, and stars,
just as you are.
If you ever want to find me
taste me in the saltiest sea
find me in a hollow tree
rooted down, in stillness sing.