Friday, 18 January 2013

Singing Into the Wind

I am the voice in the wind and the pouring rain... - Celtic Woman, The Voice 
What would the spirit of the wind look like to mortal eyes, I wonder? 
Wind is everywhere tonight. As cool relief after a parching hot day, we welcomed it into our house - flinging open windows and letting it sweep down the stairs and slam the doors like an exuberant and invisible guest. Its first approach was tentative and hesitant, but its forces increased and it became insistent and loud; rattling the windows - stronger and still more insistent as time passed. 

All day the weather had been extreme. The temperatures rose to a record 45.8 C and when the cool change arrived we blessed it. Yet as the winds increased in power the trees bent and strained, and the sea, which all day had been a smooth and brilliant sapphire, churned white and storm-cloud grey. As the yachts rocked wildly in clusters near the shore, their furled sails snapping and weights clanging against their masts, we were warned - "dangerous winds" were forecasted.

Cloud and tree and churning sea are but playthings and instruments of the wind... 
The guest had turned wild. The windows were firmly shut and bolted. Safe inside a solid house the members of my family relaxed - reading or playing according to their whims and natures. 

My nature drove me elsewhere.

I could not resist the call of the wind. Though barred from entering the house it sang and whistled all the louder, playing the branches of the tossing trees like a skilled and powerful bard. Suddenly I felt a great desire to join it.

I climbed the stairs to the top of the house, where a turret stands overlooking the city and the sea. Here I shut the door on domesticity behind me, and in darkness communed with my friend the wind, alone. It welcomed me out into its realm - singing to me of power and of freedom limitless. I planted my feet and flung out my arms to it, and it surrounded me, surging in currents and eddies like rapid river water around a rock. My skirts and sleeves rose and escaped my control, swirling in all directions, until I felt myself a being of flickering light and shadows; an elemental, kin to the wind, and a part of its song. 

For in simply being out in the night I became another instrument for the wind to play upon - and as I swayed before it I felt my sinews strum, and internally I vibrated to the terrible and beautiful chords. But I would not let myself simply be an instrument. I wanted to add my voice in harmony to the wind - to sing of themes that I felt. 

The song of the wind is ethereal and eldritch...
I sang the elf-songs Aniron and Elbereth - because at this time I felt a deep joy in the power and beauty of the world, and because I felt the ethereal language was suited to the profound and eldritch language of the wind. In a similar vein I sang Into the West - gazing across the sea beyond the sparkling city, toward the dark horizon, and I imagined the sailor Earendil  and Elwing journeying on waters stirred by this wind. Awe came upon me - at the power and the timelessness of wind/- and I became aware of its unending song that continues through the lives of small, audacious humans until the final consuming of the Earth in flame, when the sun expands, a fate billions of years hence... 

Though the storm is strong and vast and I am small - still I stand... 
Yet with my awe, and understanding of the immensity of the wind, came a surge of joy and fierce elation. I knew suddenly that while my life is small and frail beside the age and power of the wind - still I stood before it, and sang and added to it, and I felt wonderfully alive. Now I sang The Old Ways - of human connection with the elements through the passing of time. I stood over the city and felt like a sorceress - a goddess, with the city and the sea  and all the roiling air within the span of my arms. Finally I sang The Voice - my own voice swelling with the roar of the wind - and the words were of past and future, history and permanence. And with this last song I felt a great triumph - for I felt my voice had become a part of the immortal melody, and would be carried within it forever - and I was glad.

I am the voice in the wind and the pouring rain
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice that always is calling you
I am the voice
I will remain
I am the voice of the past that will always be
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice of the future
I am the voice
The pounding waves/ Are calling me home/ Home to you... - The Old Ways, Loreena McKennitt 

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