The Secret of the Wind © 1983 Mark A. Lowery
I walk along this quiet secluded beach, my mind wandering in a daydream while my feet leave a trail behind me. A gentle breeze wisps around me, tantalizing me with a soft caress. Something is not quite right. A chill takes hold of me, goose bumps rippling along my arms. I look around. Observing. Wondering what has caught my attention. Yet nothing but me, the beach, and my footprints trailing in the sands of the beach behind me. Or so I think.
With a sudden appearance not expected, strong gusts of the wind ruffle my hair and swirl the sands on the beach. No gentle breeze is this. Hypnotically, I watch as the wind begins to whip the sands to and fro. I look up. But all is clear. Blue sky. Billowing clouds looming high. Then I feel it, the power of the wind gusting here on this quiet secluded beach. The wind is calling me, compelling me to listen.
To what, I wonder? What may the wind teach me on this quiet secluded beach? The wind taunts me with visions of long lost secrets held deep, those not written down in a book or revealed by words not spoken for many long years. I stand all alone as the wind dances over this quiet secluded beach, entrancing me with its mysticism.
The leaves on the palm trees swish to and fro, and white caps on the waves begin to grow. I seek, I softly utter. Please tell me your long lost secrets. The wind whispers its challenge to me…come learn my secrets gathered far and wide. From here, from there, perhaps from everywhere. The wounding words of an argument there. The soft cries of a baby over yonder. The clang of swords from a battlefield beyond. And more, so much more. What history I have seen the wind whispers to me…the beauty of a wedding…the misery of pain…the crowning of kings…the joy of a newborn baby…the slaughter of men and animals…the feasting, the gaiety, the folklore of yore.
“Please take me with you,” I ask the wind, “So I can learn. Can experience. Envelope me with your mystery…your majesty…so deep…so pure.” The wind’s gusts just laugh at me, though, ringing in my ears as my feet become still. I observe quietly as the wind obliterates my trail across the sands of this quiet secluded beach. I stand all alone…no backwards, no forwards…suspended in time by the hypnotic allure of the wind’s secrets.
As suddenly as the wind came, so it goes. The palm trees’ leaves become still, drooping once more. The swirling sands on the beach slowly ebb to a stop as the wind rushes away across the sea, white caps on the waves pushed along before it. As I stand there alone, pain constricts my heart. I know that I have not met the wind’s challenge. I have not learned the wind’s secrets. The wind takes its secrets along, another now added to them: the wind’s challenge to me on this quiet secluded beach.
I shudder and shake off the wind’s hypnotic trance as a seagull swoops down and plunges into the sea. A short while later, the seagull emerges with a fish in its beak from the blue-green deep. As I watch the seagull fly off to who knows where, my mind clicks into gear. The pain ebbs from my heart. For I come to realize that I did meet the wind’s challenge.
I thought the wind taunted me with learning its long lost secrets held deep. But ever so wrong was I. In my foolish human pride, if only for a suspended moment in time, I believed that I could equal the majesty of the wind. So wrong was I. I look out across the sea, wondering where the wind has flown. Who else will learn the Secret of the Wind, I wonder. I wave a soft goodbye, realizing what it means to be human. With frailties and limitations. Expectations and hopes. One beginning at a birth. One end at a death. As I acknowledge that I will never learn the wind’s secrets, a breeze’s gentle caress wisps around me. The wind sends a messenger to me acknowledging that I have met the wind’s challenge: learning the Secret of the Wind.