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 Two nights ago, we had a ferocious windstorm here in the Pigeon Lake area. It began around 10 pm and raged all night and into the next morning. I love storms and dramatic weather so it was quite exciting to hear the deafening ROAR of the wind coming off of the lake and engulfing the cabin as it passed through. I love listening to the different voices of the wind as it moves through the trees and branches: the howling, whistling and whooshing… the delicate rustle of dry grass moving against one another… the trees bending and knocking against one another, adding a unique layer of percussion to this already dynamic soundscape.

While skiing this morning, I paid particular attention to how this powerful wind felt against my body. I noticed the resistance I experienced when skiing head-on into the wind as I squared my body and tried to block this opposing force. I felt the sting of ice particles hitting my face and how I suddenly felt colder. In that moment, it felt like the wind was a separate, negative and opposing force; challenging me and preventing me from reaching my goal.

As I rounded the loop in the trail, I noticed how my experience changed with the wind now at my back. Suddenly befriended, I felt the wind helping and pushing me down the long gentle slope. No longer resisting the wind, I used my body to harness it and allow it to push me in the direction that I needed to go. Working together with the wind, I now felt warmer and supported.

At the end of one long loop the wind seemed even stronger (a deafening ROAR) and this time I stopped to fully experience it. I watched the wind dance its spiral dance, picking up giant swirls of snow as it travelled over the field… I noticed the way the trees would bend and sway and did not seem to resist to the wind but, in fact, seemed to open up their arms to the wind and welcome it…  Inspired by this thought, I put my ski poles down and I, too, opened up my own arms wide to fully embrace the wind. I relaxed my body and allowed the wind to blow through my arms and legs and and push me around. I became wild… I became a tree… I imagined my own roots moving deep into the earth, grounding and rooting me. I felt my trunk being pushed and twisting gently sideways…  my arms swaying like a puppet on a string.  For a time, I simply danced like this with the wind, bending, swaying and gently spinning… I could not help but laugh like a child and hum along… Again, I noticed my own response to the wind, this time playful, cooperative, companionate and joyful. I yearned to fly.

I thought about the metaphor: the winds of change… I reflected on what the wind teaches regarding change in our lives and in our ways of either resisting or welcoming change.

I know that when I feel a force in my life that appears to be against me, I often square my shoulders, become a wall and try to block this ‘wind’, resisting this change. I know from my own observations that wind (or change) cannot be stopped and that sometimes forming a wall of resistance only serves to strengthen and redirect the opposing wind in even more destructive directions.

Today, I took a lesson from the trees. They do not resist the wind by trying to block it. Instead, they relax and allow wind to pass through, embracing it, moving with it, and in turn diminishing and transforming it. Today, I experienced the difference in my body, of how simply changing my posture in relationship with the wind (or, metaphorically to change) changed my entire experience of it. Instead of opposition, I experienced ‘flow’ and the power of aligning myself with this natural force. Instead of frustration, I was lighthearted and laughing. In the midst of this powerful storm, I danced.

I also learned from Lucy, who did not for a moment resist the wind. Instead, putting her nose high in the air, she became perfectly still and reverent and closed her eyes…  I watched as she inhaled deeply, taking in all of the many faint aromatic messages carried by the wind from faraway places… and then she smiled.