(Written December 22, 2015) On the evening that I write this, the winds blow with a passion and consistency that leaves an outdoor bell constantly ringing and the windows rattling. The air moves so fast that there is a howling sound coming from the overhead electric lines. I keep waiting, wondering whether or not I will hear a limb snap. Then, suddenly, something scratches at the window screen. Was it an armadillo, an owl, a skunk, a small piece of debris? What in the world was it?
I don't know why the winds play such a role in the timing of certain things. It's like a bird flying into a window at just the wrong moment during a heightened conversation, or a dog that gets upset when the pressure in the air drops. A night with a full moon is just as bad as a night with an empty one, and all are just as spooky as these high winds right now.
The cabin has aged a bit; the winds tell me that. There are a lot of creaks and pops in the wood that didn’t used to be quite this bad. Perhaps this old cabin is trying to teach me something about old age while I am still middle-aged.
I sit and I listen a little longer. For brief moments the entire ceiling sounds like it is bending. I think the walls are expanding and contracting and I wonder if those old single pane windows are going to stay put. But, somewhere within, I know morning will come and all will be just as it should be. The cabin will be no worse for the overnight wear, and my confidence in its construction will be restored.
It takes a lot of planning and well made parts holding their own to ensure a structure doesn't fail. It has taken me a long time to see the briefest of insights into what that means in a free society, not to mention what exists on an international stage. In the end, I suppose societies are either doomed to failure by the haste of having to have everything at once, or continue to stand strong because of the time, effort, and pride put into that which sustains them.
As the structure of civilization continues to improve and to be improved even on Christmas day, here’s to hoping there comes a time when everyone knows a peace within, regardless of what winds may blow.