Thursday, June 23, 2016

In June of his Fifty-Second Year, Wilbo Heard the Four Winds of Change Before the Four Winds Picked Him Up and Carried Him.

June 23, 2015

Summer has arrived and it is already a remarkable summer. I believe with a faith that can't be jarred that these are the bluest skies I have ever experienced. The clouds at sunset are more phantasmagorical than ever. It can't be disproven. I believe the winds carry a poignant message that I have never understood before this summer. I didn't gamble Monday night but I did pay a curious visit to Four Winds in Dowagiac, a boutique casino with slot machines and four tables for Blackjack. I sat under the great, high welcoming porch and felt the wind billowing under my shirt and wondered if I had felt all of the four winds during Monday. The overhead speakers were singing Mick Jagger's "Sympathy For The Devil" and it amazed me to hear that driving hoo hoo chorus so clearly and watch a thousand acres of leaves and grass wave and tossle under the early evening sunshine of a long, long day. No expert in Indian custom, it made me think of the month called the leaf shine month. The wind turns the leaves upside down until the stems twist the leaves right side up. Over and over again, twisting on its stem, each leaf flashes its shine.

The oddness of enjoying effulgent sunshine last early evening while cloud banks betokened the cloudburst to come, the wind bringing the storm clouds off of the prairies and up from the Gulf. These rain patterns this June have made me think of the rain-forest, which is remarkable as I talk with a team of programmers and business analysts in the mountains above San Paulo every morning. I drove home after the fall of darkness in a torrential downpour that slowed traffic on the interstate to a cautious crawl. Last I looked at the weather map, the Grand River valley has swollen with rising water only from Portland to Ionia. Ionia always seems to flood.

Johnny Cash picked up the idea of wind in his song, Four Strong Winds, adding the word strong to the Indian phrase. Cash and his lyrics haunt my mind much more the Mick and his verses ever will. "Well, our good times are all gone. And I'm bound for moving on. I'll look for you I'm ever back this way". As a valediction, farewell words, that's a step above "Write if you find work".  I love Johnny and will sing his songs at Karaoke as long as I can stand with a microphone. However, out upon his drifter verse. Yes, I drove four hundred miles Muskegon to Chicago and back, the return trip adding passages through Michindiana: New Buffalo, Three Oak, Niles, Dowagiac, Decatur and Kalamazoo. My four wheels and my four limbs still found bed and home at the end of the miles. The good times might or might not be all gone. Today had high-points. Tomorrow has promise. I'm hardly going to be fatalistic about moving on. Had enough of looking for people as I passed along. There has to be a better way to keep in touch. My journeys all are planned round trip.

Like the leaf in the wind, for at least a season I might want to stay attached to my tree, twisting and fluttering in the wind.

Monday, I explored the Michiana prairies. Tuesday, as I stumbled around my kitchen before Eight in the morning, just, I heard the breeze gusting through my open windows. Near the southeastern shore of Lake Muskegon, breezes always carry away hot, muggy air away from my home; open window and air conditioning cannot empty my space more quickly of fug and sweltering heat. I heard the row of maples shaking and rustling behinds the house, all the thousands of maple leaves quivering on passing gusts of breeze. The sun was still rising and passed her rays through those shaking leaves almost parallel to my floors. Sun devils danced on all my walls, the edges and angles determined by the random patterns of a countless number of wind blown leaves. I didn't see them Wednesday morning as the wind had becalmed. I saw beams of cast sunlight, without the frenetic spirit of dancing sun devils.

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