Thursday, 24 July 2014

North Wind

Is it more courageous to flee or fight? Should you just go where the North Wind blows you?
These thoughts had occurred to Esther before, but she was stuck. She couldn't run, she couldn't defend and she had no friend to turn to. In trying to decide what to do with her life she had completely cut herself off. She found she didn't mind the seclusion and thought it would only be for a short time, but this separation from the minutiae of life had been prolonged.
Somewhere the plan, without her consent or knowledge, had been altered; instead of drawing her out, it had drawn her evermore inwards. Esther was baffled; she'd always had the tendency to be withdrawn and sullen, but there had once been a more playful side. Where had joy gone to? Was the other an act and despondency her true nature?
Turning from the outer world had seemed the answer. How many times had she heard people say 'Give everything up and you won't look back. You'll wish you did it sooner.' Did she wish that? She hadn't move forward or back, not one iota.
Esther wasn't the sort to harbour regrets, but she did have a reflective nature. What if I did this or had done that? Should I have fled or tried harder? Why had the winds stayed still when I'd asked them to propel me?
Now lost to herself and to those around her, the winds blew forcefully, but could not stir her. She was too afraid to allow herself to return fully to the outer world and too unwilling to be blown. The impulsive part of her that craved letting go was always overthrown.
The North Wind however pleased her. On particularly windy days she took to walking on the common where she covered her head with a slate coloured shawl and allowed the North Wind to mercilessly pummel her. It tugged the skirts of her dress and whipped the shawl from her; it brushed her bare arms and face until her cheeks were a rosy red. It made her dark eyes shine and seem more alive than dead.
In spring, this great wind twisted leaves from the trees and made petals flutter, and as this confetti swirled Esther imagined the North Wind lifting her. She pictured being wind-blown, the blocked feeling driven from her; swept along on a wind-tide, the land drifting beneath her. The trees swayed and the grasses of the level land rustled, but although Esther's mind was moved, her figure was barely rocked. The gale could not carry her off.
At night, she liked to listen to the murmurs of a rising wind; she didn't mind if it stole in and wished she wasn't untouchable. The curtains billowed, blinds slapped the windows, doors creaked to and fro... Arriving unannounced, this blustery visitor was welcome in her house for she wanted so much to put her fears aside and fly or float. She hoped this bullish air would grab and shake her.
Often, she cried to the North Wind, “Why won't you take me?” Although she knew the answer: she sabotaged herself, she was the obstruction. The North Wind was powerful, but her will was too strong and stubborn. Esther stopped herself from doing what she wanted the most: to give in and let the rushing North Wind take her.