One day I’m planning to have a welcome sign painted and sprawled on a thick arched board between two great posts on either side of the driveway, somewhere about two thirds up the mountain. At first, I thought it would have the name of our house, all majestic and proud. I ditched that idea after about a year of living up here. People who reached the front door were usually either too breathless or concerned about the health of their car’s engine to be enamored with a pretentious house announcement.
Then I toyed with the idea that something encouraging would be appropriate. Like, Don’t give up now! You’re almost there! Or We’ve got cookies!
I ended up posting a speed limit sign—at one of the most dangerous curves. The fact that it says 55 mph is usually enough to crack the tension of any new delivery man or technician who has to scale the driveway in a bulky, workhorse truck. Some make a gallant effort, but realize anything beyond 17 will have them losing a lug nut.
So now, I’ve made the decision that I’ll simply give a clear statement and folks can take it as they want. Sadly, it’s not mine, but rather a quote from Catherine the Great, yet I figure if anyone points this out, I’ll confess I ran out of room or paint or both.
The new entrance sign will say, A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination, or a headache.
Most definitions of “wind” I find too tame to adequately represent that which passes over the land up here. Some say “moving air”, others “a current blowing from a particular direction”. I think Wikipedia has it closest with their, “the flow of gases on a large scale”, or “the bulk movement of air”.
It’s challenging, when one is not raised in the Dust Bowl’s Great Plains, or on Neptune, to get used to living in a house that, for the better part of three months during winter, creates nerve-racking unease. The sounds are howling and shrill, at times something of such biblical force I’m often peering outside for signs of a burning bush.
Inundated with wind advisories during this time period, I’m left wondering—usually as I’m hunting for stray lawn chairs, flower boxes or small children that have gone missing down the hillsides—just how possible it would be to harness this orchestra of sounds for the usage of our house.
If outfitted with the right equipment, could I make enough to run the washing machine, or power the computers, maybe even the seven alarm clocks needed to rouse my daughter from the four or five hours of slumped unconsciousness she allows herself each night? No, maybe that last one is asking too much.
I know that wind energy seems like a really great idea, a no brainer when presented with many of the pros:
- it’s free
- doesn’t generate pollution
- readily available most anywhere in the world
Yet I read about community concerns with it as well:
- harm to birds
- possible noise pollution
- attracts lightening
The most amazing thing is following the clever brains in this industry and discovering how scientists around the globe are trying to capitalize on the pros and eliminate the cons.
Supporting this industry and furthering design work resonates with the hippie crack granola/save the lesbian whales/make kids work in air-conditioned sweatshops kind of green thinker I’m trying to be. Of course, no matter how much wind we’d be able to harness and contribute to the energy grid, I will still not be able to:
1.) Grow trees that do not look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book.
2.) Light a birthday cake outside January through March.
3.) Reconfigure my patio furniture as it’s all nailed down.
4.) Un-tether the sheep.
Of course, I do receive the ability to fly a kite 24/7, a soundtrack for throwing a great Halloween dinner, and free dermabrasion.
With all that in mind, I leave you with this dictum.
Tis an ill wind that blows nobody good, but a silent wind that let’s everybody get a few hours of uninterrupted shuteye.
(And here’s a little wind humor)