Wind (Prose)

Awareness filled me the way heat seeps from an old radiator – barely discernable at first; slow and steady. The voice emanating from my bluetooth headphones became harder and harder to make out as my surroundings invited and then demanded my attention.

I was walking the residential blocks around my home, listening to a recorded message from a friend. The sun had set an hour previous but the bigger streets glowed from lamplights and though the wind had been strong when I left, the air it churned was warm enough to cause me to foresake my jacket as I walked. Now however, a distinct shift distracted me from the account I was listening to. My focus emerged from the recording and my absent-minded walking slowed to a stop. I stood at the intersection of a dark gravel side street and a lit cross street that allowed a view farther down into the center of town several blocks away than I had before. And at once, I became aware of a palpable change.

It was fall; the trees in the area were full-grown and had by now shed almost all of their summer fashion leaves. Most lawns up and down the street, more or less attended to, had been raked and those leaves were piled in heaps along the curbs to be collected. But the gentle stirrings the wind had instigated all day, loosening a few odd defectors here and there, had intensified in the last two minutes. I was now surrounded not by the restless aliveness of a fall night but a raucous row threatening to spiral into violence. Like a scene from a movie, a breathtaking surge of wind careened down the street, pushing me back, catching up in its fists entire piles of leaves in one go. And in an instant my world was motion and sound and exhileration and thunderous roaring and swirling texts of leaves billowing in cyclones; fleeing in unified masses from their ordered piles; escaping inanimacy.

Alright, this is fun but I’m tired. I’ll have to come back and finish this description another time.

-LS

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