07 June 2009

Wind Blows Where It Chooses, And You Hear the Sound of It

When I was thirteen my birth family's house was next to a bird sanctuary. In winter storm the wind blew. I could hear it because it blew through the sanctuary. At times the experience was a memorable winter sound & sight, trees and wind melding into a bluster whooshy sway. This I recall from wind deep in the night.

The winter nights were often punctuated by my father's drunkenness. He'd sit and drink in the living room into the night. In some nights my mother would hide. I'd hide too. If I was seen he'd call me to sit with him to keep him company. On such a night a storm was blowing.

"Listen to the wind." he'd say.

I'd learned to sit and be quiet, to offer anything was dangerous.

Do you hear it? Listen, listen to the wind.

He'd sit, sip, swizzle ice in his glass in his hand rolling it with his wrist, listen, maybe for a response, sit in the whooshy sway of the wind's noise outdoors.

Listen to it!

I had not clue what he heard in the wind. I'd have to say something, if only out of my fear for risking saying nothing. To say nothing was dangerous too.

Ironically I liked the winds' sound; I still do. I like wind. I love to sail, especially in wind. I feel alive in wind, leaves, trees, out in nature, on the water. If I lived in Oklahoma I'd probably like the wind across the plain.

Decades later when I was reading the parable of Nicodemus in John 3: 1 - 17 I was struck. I sensed I was experiencing God again, unlike Nicodemus trapped in his everydayness. I felt my father, in his drunkenness, had pointed me to experience the Divine (though he nor I knew it then) as those in the past have experienced the Divine recorded in the Testaments. I felt as if something redemptive had come out of something terrifying. In what had been a frightening trap for me, had in time and Godly reflection, come to be a revelation.

Such an irony.

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