Wind Medicine

windA great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache. -Catherine the Great

Today I woke with the intention of planting my garden. I got up, made coffee. I gathered a piece of paper and pen and laid out my seeds. Sipping and planning. Sketching and dreaming.

When I was done I went to find my husband, to let him know I would soon be leaving to our community garden. Mid conversation I noticed it was windy. Really windy. I remembered planting this same plot in the wind last year, my rows of plants uneven and curving, a reminder of the gusts that morning all season.

Ugh. The wind. I decided that I would weed and amend the soil in my bed today and hold off on planting until tomorrow. I have long found wind disorienting and exhausting. I have long been resistant to it.

The garden was uncomfortable today, cold despite the sun and unrelenting. I worked at weeding. No one else was around when I was there so I quickly slipped into my own thoughts. I have a friend who is a Blackfoot shaman, Maaniinskiaakii, New Song Woman. Sometime in the past year, we were talking about the wind and I shared my feelings about it. Yes, she said, it is exhausting. “But it is also powerful medicine.” My understanding of why the Blackfoot believe this is because the wind cleanses us, taking away what we no longer need. Today I felt this.

I sat down and felt the ground. I felt myself in the space. It occurred to me in that moment that I needed to let go of feeling like I have to take care of others and focus on taking care of myself. That is what each of us must do, work through what it means to take care of ourselves, and let go of the rest. A big responsibility. I felt the garden, some of it positive, some of it negative. Some of it mine, some of it not mine. And I cried. I cried to let go of all the things I do not need, all of the energy coursing through me that I don’t need. I surrendered it to the wind.

I feel differently about the wind now. I still find it exhausting, but I understand its purpose. I am grateful. Grateful to my friends and neighbours who built a magical forest in the middle of this city and welcomed me into it. And I am grateful for all of the people in this life who have given me the grace to grow, quietly lifting me.

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