Observations on a Windy Winter Morning

The sky outside my office window is delicate this morning, like pale blue silk swirled with cream. Even though the sun is up, it isn't fully daylight, and a wash of pink shrouds the world the way a bridal veil hides one's face. For a moment, all is still, the space between breaths, and then the quiet morning is blown away, quite literally, buy the wind that comes whistling through the trees sounding like a steam engine's stuttering whistle as it pushes past the cracked-open windows of my house.

The wind seems to be a prairie wind just now, of the sort that both Willa Cather and Laura Ingalls Wilder both wrote – ceaseless, constant, almost a being in its own right, alternately a howling monster and a whispering stranger, a brutal enemy or a caressing lover. Last night, tucked into bed with small dogs pressed against me, the wind was a comforting sound, easing me down into the waves of sleep.

This morning, though, the bluster is sort of hollow. In another life, one as recent as two months ago, I'd be staying home, making tea, writing in bursts like gusts of wind. Instead, I'm dashing out this blog entry, and heading to Starbucks for a triple venti latte and (because my mood calls for it) a butter croissant, on the way to work.

At work, with doors that encourage you to step through them in digitally devised pseudo-female voices heavily laced with the gentle tone one uses when addressing the criminally insane, and windows that allow us to see the world from behind their hermetically sealed panes of tinted glass, the wind is left outside. There is no breeze, no taste of outside, just stale office air, recycled, re-used, reduced to something LIKE actual air, but not quite IT.

And the wind is left outside.