The thrill of the elements


“Wind” was a daily prompt a few weeks ago (sometimes I like to save them up until I’m interested in having a crack).

Wind – I love the sound of it, particularly when it’s flexing its muscles. Not that we get much of it where we live, and certainly nothing like the tornadoes in other parts of the world (we don’t get tornadoes in our part of Australia, nothing even approaching one, and I suppose those of you who do may feel quite differently). But that roaring, howling sound of a force being unleashed, bending the trees, fighting pedestrians, stirring the blood…. to me its power is exhilarating.

I remember a couple of years ago we were at Lakes Entrance (a coastal town, but it sits on an inlet that opens up into quite a significant lake). We were lying on the beach, soaking up the rays and enjoying the sound of the waves, when my wife pointed to the darkening skies and said we should get a move on. Typical bloke that I am, I thought nothing of it, and took my time getting ready to go back over the bridge (there’s this stretch of water between the beachfront and the town proper). By the time we were nearly off the beach itself the wind had whipped up, and was beginning to attack us with swirls of sand like a cloud of angry microscopic hornets.

As we got to the bridge the wind strengthened considerably, and we, along with the other hapless beachsiders, had to set our shoulders against it as it threatened to blow us off the walkway. By now I was enthralled and excited – it was the strongest wind storm I’d ever experienced, and I began to wonder if it would indeed begin to shape up as some kind of cyclone, even a weak one. Linda, who is no fan of thrill seeking, was just keen to get off the walkway and to shelter behind some buildings.

By now it had begun to rain, not very heavily, but with the strong wind it was stinging our faces. I left Linda in her sheltered spot, and set off for the car some hundreds of yards away, relishing every moment but at the same time slightly dreading what it would be like if it got worse. In my imagination I saw cars being picked up and tossed and trees being uprooted, though of course we were in no danger of that happening. Nevertheless, it all was a jangle of sensations for me – noise, heartbeat, stinging, lightning, grey, cold, electric, distance, resolution, trepidation, anticipation, all whirling in and around me – and then I made it to the car and got in.

I sat there, revelling in the moment as the rain, now quite heavy, lashed the car and the winds howled wildly around me, rocking the car a little, as if toying with it. But it didn’t last long. A few minutes later  the rain eased, the wind slowed, the windscreen wipers managed to provide visibility again, I drove around to where my wife was, and it was kind of all over. Picked her up, chatted a bit about the whole experience (me elated, she just glad it was over). And that was it.

So wind – I hope I never have to face you in all your fury, but as long as your leash is still firmly attached, then I would enjoy your company again. But for those of you who live in tornado/cyclone territory, does it ever feel this way for you? Or is it just terrifying?


Author: Terry Lewis

I'm a guy in his 50's who thought it might be fun to write about day to day issues - the stuff that life is made of. It's helped me think and develop some deeper perspectives. I enjoyed it so much I thought I might start posting it in a blog, and here we are! I intend to mix it up as much as I can. I am a thinking kind of guy so the majority of my posts will probably have some kernel of truth or (hopefully) wisdom nestled in there somewhere. But I also hope to have some light hearted posts as well. Too much thinking can make life pretty dull! Anyway, hope you like it.

2 thoughts on “The thrill of the elements”

  1. You’re a wonderful writer, Terry! I loved your description of “swirls of sand like a cloud of angry microscopic hornets.” There really is something primal about a big storm, isn’t there? And in my observation, in some of us it unleashes the “fight” instinct — that Captain Ahab-like impulse to lean into the wind and look the great gray beast in the eye — while for others it’s purely about “flight.” I join you in being one of the former, although there *have* been a couple of times that “jangle of sensations” you describe has been reduced to sheer terror. Fortunately I have (so far) survived them.

    Thank you for a great read!

    1. Thank you so much Heather! I’m more of an analytical writer than a creative writer and I stand in awe of those who use metaphor and other similarly descriptive tools. When I do attempt to paint a picture I enjoy the challenge, and so your comments are doubly appreciated.
      I remember reading your last blog about the big storm that hit your town, so I guess you’re no stranger to tornadoes and the like. I’ve sometimes wondered how I would feel in the midst of such an event, whether I would be full of dread or experience a mixture of elation and fear. I suspect the latter but I’ll probably never know. I don’t blame you for being terrified sometimes – I rather imagine only a fool would feel differently.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s