The Big Wind

This morning we had a big wind, a wind that made me think of the big bad wolf huffing and puffing to blow the house down. Remember him in the story of The Three Little Pigs? Well, this was that kind of wind. It came swooping up the valley in huge gusts, making groaning noises as it swirled around the house, rattling the windows.

The small birds that usually come to my feeders were hiding out. This wind was too big for them to sit on the tree branches outside my window. I wondered where they went — maybe they raced down to the lower part of the valley just in front of the wind as it blew in, or maybe they were too late and had to let themselves be blown out of the valley. I hoped they were okay.

Then two mockingbirds blew in, literally, and landed on the tree on the side of the small hill outside my office balcony. I could see the mockingbirds were having trouble staying on the branches. One of them, the smaller one, kept trying to fly into the wind. He would leap up, but before he could even flap his wings, the wind would sweep him up and threaten to take him away. He would pull his wings tight to his sides and dive back to his starting point.

The other mockingbird and I watched him try this again, and again, this heroic fight against a much stronger force, only to be blown back every time.  He stopped for a while, to catch his breath I imagined, and just then the wind stopped too, for a second. He seized the opportunity and took off into the canyon, the other bird right behind him, following his flight plan.

I smiled as they flew off, thinking about the Wright brothers and how many times they had to try before they were able to take off. It amused me to think that even birds have their days when it might be easier to just give up the idea of flight.


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