Ancient History

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It’s Time to Wake Up

We don’t stand a chance here when it comes to wind.

We live near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The wind that carries storm systems from the Pacific arches over the mountains to the west of us. It crests and considers the Great Plains below and beyond. White mountain peaks often appear to have cloud horns jutting off, but really, it’s snow blown off the rock faces and back into the air. Once on the downhill slide to the plains, wind slams itself into fifth gear.

Paired with the returning spring sun and shifting warming patterns, we practically blow away this time of year.

A few nights ago, the wind was particularly bad. It’s really hard to sleep when it sounds like your lawn is becoming a giant Swiss Roll, curling over itself in a layered cake of half-dead sod, dog poo, and faded plastic toys. I was in bed listening to the racket outside, trying to tune it out. Finally, I got up and looked out a window with the idea if I saw damage, I could obsess over something beside noise. All I saw were bare trees shaking and swaying, but still standing.

I recognized what was going on out there in the wild dark.

It was like when I have to wake up kids for school. I start gently, cooing greetings to sweet sleepy heads. I pat and prod. I might whistle poorly or warble pathetically. I wait. Numbers on digital clocks march up. I start to bellow and yell. I try again, this time shaking shoulders or kneeing a mattress. No, it’s not a picture of gauzy lazy stretches with a plate of bacon slid undernose. It’s more like Spring wind. Wake up, kid! World! World kid!

Junior amateur doof scientist that I am, I returned to bed full of half-baked crackpot theories.

Maybe the wind has an important purpose? Rather than resent its rough intrusion, I could consider how it sweeps away dead leaves and weeds from the ground. That’s obvious. But maybe trees need to be shaken to open their roots and microscopic internal systems. Maybe the wind is invigorating and makes leaves want to come out and play! I began to think about googling the connection between wind and the veins inside trees. They are awakened, which in turn wakes up the processes that begin leaf production. I was onto something. It was like that moment in a medical show when the heroine’s pupil contracts dramatically because she discovered something while looking through a microscope that will change everything.

Or, maybe I do just need more sleep.

Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey! Er, wakey, wakey, photosynthesis and carbon dioxide!

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