Actually, that’s an understatement. We’ve had three storms this month with wind gusts up to and beyond 100 miles per hour.
Yesterday on our local public radio station, Hometown Alaska aired a segment called “Why Trees Go Down in the Wind and How to Protect Them.” An arborist and someone from the Alaska Division of Forestry were the show’s guests.
Toward the end of the segment, a caller asked about one of his trees. When he noticed, a few years ago, that it had developed a significant lean, he drove a stake into the ground and tied a strap between the tree and the stake, pulling the tree into a more upright position. He thought that the recent windstorms had increased the lean, and he wanted to know when to cut the tree down to protect his house.
You’re damaging the tree by staking it, the arborist told him. Trees need to sway in the wind to develop and support a strong trunk.
And that snagged my attention.
How much time do we spend trying to stake ourselves into an upright position? Trying to conform to some idealized image of success, of perfection, of maturity?
What if, instead, we curled our toes into the soil, stretched our arms to the sky, and danced with the wind?
What if, instead of fighting the urge to sway, we abandoned ourselves to the rhythms that make us strong?
What if we embraced each changing moment? What if we let the wind dip us and turn us and swing us?
What if we chose to be born of the wind?