Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Canticle of the Sun - Thoughts on Wind and Weather

"Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance."

I try to call to mind this verse of St. Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Sun when the wind is ripping shingles off my roof, or blowing sheets of dirt into my face and hair.  Meditating on it at these times helps calm my irritation as I accept that such winds are usually blowing gloomy weather away from my little homestead, or bringing nourishing rain and playful snow to it - depends on my perspective, doesn't it? 

When I am hiking in the wind, if I stand still and close my eyes, I can feel Brother Wind embracing me, Brother Air infusing my body with healing oxygen, sensuous scents of evergreen, rain or snow, and sweet musky fragrances of flowers and mosses.

There is an anecdote about John Muir, the great naturalist, who was said to go for one of his "walks" in a storm, climb a tree and swing from the branches, just to let the wind and rain buffet and refresh him.  In his own words, he felt "...free to take the wind into my pulses and enjoy the excited forest...I kept my lofty perch for hours, frequently closing my eyes to enjoy the music by itself, or to feast quietly on the delicious fragrance that was streaming past."  (John Muir, The Mountains of California). 

I too have had the hours pass swiftly as I sat upon a lofty peak (though not up in a tree!) feeling the wind wash me of my anxieties, cleanse me of my materialism and make me ready to face my human brothers and sisters again, with renewed tolerance, compassion and love.

All praise and glory to God, the awesome Creator!

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