by Kari Diane Pike
I have never been fond of wind. Cool breezes on a hot day, yes, but wind in general has always spooked me. In Western Montana, it was the Chinooks--warm, wet winds that melted the snow, stole the cap off my eight-year-old head, and caused the hair on my arms to stand on end. In Southern California, the Santa Anas--strong, hot winds rushing from the high deserts to escape out to sea--delivered scorching temperatures, sucked the moisture out of every living thing, and made the hair on my arms stand on end. I felt silly feeling afraid of the wind and finally shared my thoughts with a friend. She said,
"Oh, you mean the Murder Winds?"
Gee thanks. That really helped. I took matters into my own hands and researched the folk lore of the Santa Ana winds and how the murder rate supposedly rises when they blow. I also found some pretty intense murder mysteries based on those myths. Yeah...I have never been fond of wind.
One of the unexpected challenges of moving from the Valley of the Sun in Arizona, to the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah County, has been the day after day after day of cloudy, foggy, hazy skies. I live just five short miles from the American Fork Canyon/Mount Timpanogas area and there have been times when I couldn't even see the base of the mountain. A couple of days ago, I woke up as a chill ran through me--one that had nothing to do with the frigid temperatures outside. The wind was blowing. Ugh. With a resentful heart, I climbed out of bed and began my morning routine. The gray light of dawn revealed we finally had a break in the weather. After breakfast, the sun greeted me with vibrant oranges and golds and lit the mountain peaks with fluorescent pinks. The crystal air seemed to vibrate and the rugged details of the mountains and canyons stood stark against the winter blue sky. The wind had scattered the clouds and fog and gray and gifted me with sunshine and clarity and a new perspective.
I thought about how much the wind is like adversity in my life. I have never been very fond of adversity either. It makes the hair on my arms stand on end. Like the wind, adversity has a way of helping me shift my perspective. Adversity helps me see myself and others more clearly. It shows the stark reality of the choices I am making and the consequences that follow. Just like the warm, moist Chinook winds that melt the snow, adversity softens and melts my heart and helps me hear the sweet promptings of the Spirit.
In The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Ether 6 describes the oceanic journey of the Jaredites to the promised land. Verse 8 says, "And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind."
I am learning to appreciate the wind. I am learning to appreciate adversity. Both offer opportunities for change and growth. I am also learning that the winds of adversity will continue to blow me towards the promise of eternal life.
Another gift of adversity--it gives me something to write about--and by writing these things down, I can help my family and friends navigate their own winds of adversity. (How's that for tying it together??) Hugs~