The Wind is Rising
A Wind is Rising
By Laurie Beth Jones
As I sit at my work desk this morning, I glance outside at the big red folded umbrella—the one that woke me up at 5:38 am making creaking noises. I hadn’t checked the weather report last night and when I awakened I realized 18 mile an hour winds were billowing and tossing this big red sail cloth shaped like a mushroom around. So I put on my boots and big puffy jacket and dashed outside to reel it in.
The weather is like that in Texas. Yesterday I was basking in 70 degree weather and today the high will be 20 degrees lower. I look at that umbrella often when I am writing. It offers shade. And even when it is fully extended and the weather report shows no wind at all, the sail cloth breathes. It billows. It sighs. It flaps gently in the atmosphere, reminding me that this world is a living, breathing place. It has its own set of lungs, and intelligence, and a heartbeat for those who are tuned to listen to it.
Today marks the day the country takes on new leadership, even as one crisis compounds another. And even as there seems to be no end in sight to the chaos and disruption, we move forward.
What we thought we knew, may no longer seem true. Friends we knew...some of them are gone now. Family members fear hugging one another and other family members are not speaking.
And yet, and yet....there is Breath. And air. And new beginnings.
My friend Sandy Harrison Golden took her last breath a few days into this new year. She was dear to me for many reasons. She fed me when I was a starving student at the University of Texas at Austin. She was the one who encouraged me to drop everything I was doing and follow through with some notes I had written down called “Jesus, CEO.” When I was reeling from my divorce and had $26 dollars to my name in Dallas, she bought me a ticket to Atlanta, and helped establish me there at Georgia State University, where I took business classes in preparation for a future I sensed but still could not define.
These were her parting words to me, sent in a text when she knew we probably would not be speaking again. The third of her three different cancers finally played its final hand.
And yet, this is the quote she remembered and sent me.
“Something has spoken to me in the night, burning the tapers of the waning year: something has spoken in the night, and told me I shall die. I know not where..Saying: To lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving, to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth. Whereon the pillars of this earth are founded, toward which the conscience of the world is tending—a wind is rising, and the rivers flow.” Thomas Wolfe “You Can’t Go Home Again” 1940
For Sandy Harrison Golden, a professor whose only goal in this life was “To Be A Blessing.”
You were, my friend. Oh, you were.
The Wind is rising.
And I breathe again.