Windy Days and Nights

Life sometimes seems to be a collection of unconnected thoughts and events.

For example, yesterday while I was looking for interesting facts on Kansas, I came upon two statements. First, that once upon a time in Kansas, it was illegal to serve ice cream and cherry pie. The statement was there on the web, naked without any other facts to identify the source and with no trail to track down the offending city where this ridiculous law was passed.

The second statement was that Dodge City is the windiest city in the United States with an average wind speed of 14 miles an hour. I am not sure who collects all this information or who insures its reliability, but the point is that we shouldn’t believe everything that we read, see, or hear.

This leads me to my point about the unconnectedness of thoughts and events. Today, it is windy and cold. Winnie the Pooh would call this a blustery day. It is too cold to go for a run or walk. The cold air cuts through even the warmest clothes and it stings the face like a hot iron.

There have been other memorable cold and windy days in my life. Once on a summer sojourn in Europe, I decided to climb part ways up the Matterhorn with nothing more than the backpack I had brought to get around Europe for the summer. I crossed a frozen ice field in the afternoon and as the warm sun began to set, I decided to camp on the side of the Matterhorn in a sleeping bag too thin for the cool night air. All I could do for warmth was to shiver and count each second waiting for the warmth of the morning sun. Then, there was the time in college when I was skiing in Breckenridge, the air a chilly 20 below zero and the wind speed the same. Now that I think of it, how many times were there when we would go skiing, find our clothes wet from sweat and melted ice, and then frozen again like an icicle.

The wonder of it all is that our thoughts are like the best travel agent in the world, taking us one place and then another in an instant. We have only to close our eyes or look away, to be transprted to another time and place.

I close by quoting Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem Windy Nights. I chose Stevenson because as a child I read many of his books, all stories of adventures in faraway places.

Windy Nights

by Robert Louis Stevenson
Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

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