It is windy on the prairie today. I mean, like 52mph kind of winds. The kind of wind that keeps me indoors with cup after cup of tea.
There are things I’m supposed to do in town, but I’m chicken of driving when I see the snow in my yard blowing like all the demons of hell are chasing it into Iowa.
We have a book which I was compelled to buy for our children. It’s called, If you’re not from the prairie… (by David Douchard, pictures by Henry Ripplinger) and it praises the prairie things which I, a transplant, find so bizarre. It praises the cold; it praises the sky; it praises the wind.
All the things which I struggle to accept.
Cold can, thankfully, be combated. I bundle up. I wear lots of scarves. (Not all at the same time.) I stay indoors. I press the seat-warmer button on car the instant I climb in. (Or sooner.) And I have learned that there are temperatures at which you cannot spray your window with washer fluid without risking a total ice-over. Never a good idea when driving down I 35 in the middle of the Twin Cities. Yes, I speak from experience.
The sky, huge and cloud-filled and sometimes ominous, is, somehow, much more visible than out in Washington State, where I grew up. There the sky is often hidden by towering pine trees, or obscured by mountains…or rain. Here I frequently get fooled by the sky. I am not good at reading its moods, at identifying the clouds. Still, after 18 years in the mid-west, I find myself thinking that low, white clouds on the horizon are snow-covered mountain peaks. I know perfectly well that this is wishful thinking, but old habits are hard to break.
And then there’s the wind on the prairie, with nothing to stop it but a few groves of leafless trees. It roars and rushes in a mad rage. It blows powdery snow across the roads and kills unlucky travelers and twists into wizard-of Oz-sized corkscrews of terror.
Is there anything good I can say about the wind?
Well…maybe, if it blows Mary Poppins my way, that would be nice…