The leaves are rustling outside my window as I write today. Gusts of wind are strong and loud, ushering in changes all around. It blows over the sky's grey, making way for brilliantly lit clouds with a backdrop of blue. Colorful leaves blow by, like children hopping off of their yellow school buses this time of year.
Wind is home to me. I grew up in Kansas, where there is not much to stop it from blowing across the plains and fields. The occasional ancient cottonwood standing in defiance, bends northward, as the winds blow from the south during growing season there. Kansas was the Sioux word for "People of the south wind".
I remember reading about the pioneer women on the Santa Fe trail. They would go "wind crazy" out on the open plains. Just lose their minds and start screaming and crying from the constant sound and fight against the wind. The flapping canvas on the wagons, the howling at night and the incessant struggle against the wind during the day. I can't say I blame them.
And with the wind, many times came the fear of nature's most powerful foes- wildfires, tornadoes, and blinding blizzards sweeping across the prairies.
Wind is a friend and a foe. Those lone trees and old homesteads on the prairie have survived lightening, fire, tornadoes and ice storms. They have grown in spite of it, and sent their roots deep and wide to stabilize themselves in the midst of mother natures fury. They have battle scars to show it, nevertheless, they remain, a tribute to survival.
Sometimes I look at my life and the situations and experiences that have shaped it, and I see the marks of the growing seasons forged by the wind. I see parts of me that were strengthened by hardships, and parts that may have been bent or maybe burned and broken a little. But they are what made me me- today. And here I am, still standing. Not perfect, not without the evidence of wind, rain, storms and fires, but standing stronger in spite of and because of them.
The trees in Kansas that survive are there because they grow even in the gales and storms.. And they continue standing. Other trees are weeded out. They blow over to Arkansas or Missouri, where it's calmer and easier to grow. The ones that stay, were created to withstand whatever nature throws at them and not only survive, they become more emboldened, beautiful and rooted because of what they've had the chance to grow through.
Life is hard and the winds are strong, but we were made for it, you and I.
We will become exactly who we were meant to be if we hold on and help each other by standing and growing through it all.