Blowing mad in all this wind…

Never mind that lovely old Jimi Hendrix song The Wind Cries Mary, I just walked round to the shop and felt like shouting into the wind.

Shouting doesn’t make you feel any better, for the wind is stronger. But there has been so much weather lately, and so much wind, it was good to toss a futile howl of despair into the gale; or a sweary moan at least.

Wind wears you down and frays your nerves; it haunts in the inside of your head and batters the outside of your bedroom, especially up in the attic with a roof designed to flex in the wind, and to slap down afterwards, a sound so conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Wind batters the garden and takes down trees, only the one at this house so far, a hawthorn tree weakened by standing too long in sodden soil. Wind wears you down and keeps you awake at night and sends you on a cautious wobble when it is time to cycle anywhere.

This spot on the west side of York often takes the full force of the westerly wind, and here there are all those trees too, a blessing until they threaten to fall and become a worry or worse.

I thought the wind had gone, blown itself off, blown away someplace else and good riddance. Instead the wind has returned to harry and howl, to bother trees and tiles, to redistribute the recycling, and to make us all feel a little bit madder (please say that isn’t only me).

This morning there was a touch of real winter, a dusting of snow, enough to slow the cars on the road outside, enough to make me nervous about Horsforth. The lecture was in the afternoon and by then the snow had gone, introducing rain as a support act for the returning wind.

The twisting road along the bottom of the valley beyond Harewood was flooded in three or four places, once quite deep and all the way across, the adjacent fields turned to muddy tarns. I came back on the Leeds ring road, and the other road must have been bad to make that a good choice.

If you must drive some distance to work, and I don’t recommend it, a snowy winter is a worry, and we have escaped that so far. It its cold favour, a snowy winter is a proper old-fashioned winter, sharp and crisp and slushy and, well, yes, horrible and inconvenient.

This February has had nothing much in its favour so far, especially not for anyone who has been flooded.

As for shouting at the wind, sometimes that is taken to be a metaphor for life. This quote is from the science-fiction writer Pierce Brown, not a writer I know, but the words are fitting…

“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

OK, not the cheeriest, but I like that notion of shouting into the wind.

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