Notes from the Waxhaws

Borne on the wind

with 3 comments

The wind blows where it will, and you hear its voice, but know not from where it comes and to where it goes…

~ John 3:8

At one time in the past, coal miners would carry caged canaries with them down into the mines, to alert them to the presence of toxic gases. Apparently, canaries were very susceptible to gases such as methane and carbon monoxide…and if a canary would suddenly fall to the floor of its cage and die…well, it alerted the miners to a real and present danger, and gave them time to beat a hasty retreat back up to the surface…and safe, breathable air.

My wind  chimes on the front porch serve a similar purpose…although, thankfully…no animals are harmed in the process. When I start to hear the chimes softly tinkling…it reminds me to stop…and listen. They signal that the wind has arrived. Whether the slightest of zephyrs…or a full-blown gale…it’s time to pay attention.

Strangely enough, when I close my eyes and just listen…I’ve begun to discern aural differences, never before noticed. Yesterday afternoon, I had an epiphany, that I wasn’t hearing distant traffic on the highway…but the rushing of wind through the tops of the pine trees. A modulated white-noise type of sound very reminiscent of hearing the ocean surf peacefully rolling in on a calm day.

This morning, the quality of the wind was somewhat different. I could feel the cold breeze on my face…but I couldn’t hear the soft singing of the pines. Now…it was the oaks taking their turn. Oak trees that still have some dried-up brownish leaves attached…sizzling in the wind. I was somewhat puzzled by what caused the wind to favor the pines one day, and the oaks another. Perhaps the direction from where the wind is blowing? The relative heights of trees…some subject to breezes that hug the ground, while other trees preferring conversation with more free-spirited winds that travel higher aloft?

Like the miner’s caged canary, the chimes are a reminder for me now…to stop…to alert me to the danger of missing the moment as it unfolds…although not always understanding what I’m hearing or seeing…or where it’s going to take me.

Written by Jim

February 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Nice to have those reminders–seems that we need them more and more.

    Maurice A. Barry

    February 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

  2. I’ve heard it said that the tinkle of chimes means another angel has gotten wings. Just for good measure I reached up just now and gave those hanging from the ceiling a little jingle.


    February 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    • Amy…I think that was Clarence :)
      With all the wind we’ve been having lately, there must be a huge graduating class.


      February 11, 2013 at 6:16 pm

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