By now the images are familiar: satellite shots of monster hurricane Sandy bearing down on the northeastern U.S. seaboard & scenes of cars floating like ice cubes in dirty floodwaters. We all do what we can when the wind comes…move stuff out of the way if we have time, & stock up on random stuff we wouldn’t even glance at otherwise; anticipate our future thirst, though what we have to quench it never seems like enough; & try to hold our ground, if we have nowhere else to go.
The winds of earth are powerful, uncontrollable, & now, more unpredictable. The people of the Caribbean & Florida (including two siblings) are apparently accustomed to being buffeted by frightening hurricane winds, but not folks in New York (or in most parts of our country), not at this time of year, & not at this magnitude. Scientists are coming to understand that the northern hemisphere jet stream is changing in response to climate change, specifically the unanticipated rapid melting of Arctic ice. And this means yes, these unexpected & damaging weather patterns are probably the new normal, at least for a while until they shift again in concert with other climate change factors.
Daughter Z has a tattoo which says “le vent nous portera“…the wind will carry us. A few years ago I made a sculpture with these words; it’s out there in the garden as reminder of the winds of change, the ones we feel on our face & the ones we feel in our gut.
Having lived through a major earthquake here on the west coast, my heart goes out to everyone who will spend months & years & even decades cleaning up & rebuilding after this recent traumatic event. I’m afraid though that there’s more to come…much more.
But before I completely cast our primate fate to the wind, consider this: we seriously need to take a Tai Chi approach with this wind stuff. Beyond sailing & kites, we can work together with the wind, & we can make it work for us. There’s no question that wind is an abundant & ‘renewable’ energy resource; other nations & communities are catching the drift. Small local steps in this direction are hopeful, but we need to do…much more!
The wind can destroy us…&, the wind can also carry us.