It’s still raining here in county Cork. There have been maybe a handful of sunny days over the summer, and I am glad I took full advantage of every one! The moment we realized a day was bright and clear we were off: either to the beach, for a long walk down the lane, or stretched out on a blanket in the back garden. We seized our moments, sucked the marrow from them, and for that, I am grateful. In this moment; however, it is time to accept that summer is past and autumn is settling in. Hopefully we will have a few warm, sunny days yet: the dog days, so to speak.

We had a little summer storm move through yesterday. The wind was fantastic. I am truly a child of the winds: the powerful blue northers that sweep down from the Great Plains, the tropical storms and hurricanes of my precious Gulf of Mexico, and the fierce spring thunderstorms, with their tornadoes and lightening. Last night, when the winds howled and sang in our trees, I donned the wellies and his big grey coat and headed into Mr. McCarthy’s field. The true height of the ridge is in that field; our house being snuggly tucked in just a smidgen down the lee side.

In the field, now home to a lone bull, I could feel the full force of the south winds. They pushed into my chest with a thud. It was glorious! The tall ash and pine shrieked, the thorn wailed, and the clouds above raced past. Such life, such power. I danced and twirled, my long hair a mad frenzy behind me. And I wept, for the sheer joy of being alive in it. I think I could have stayed in that wind all night, but I remembered a saying that our last guest, Euyen, shared.

Euyen is Vietnamese and escaped in the ’70’s after the communists came to power. Her story is harrowing, and awe inspiring. Having bravely escaped as one of the thousands of ‘boat people’, and lost her father after years of imprisonment, her family are now safe in the U.S. She graciously shared many of her stories with me, and a few involved folklore. A folk saying in Vietnam is that the winds get inside you and make you sick. As a child, if anyone had been caught out in a rain storm, the moment they came home an egg was rubbed feverishly over the back. Afterwards, it was cracked open and if streaks came out from the yolk it was said, “Good. It has captured the winds.”

When I remembered this, I turned my face toward home. While I love the winds, they are great powers, and not to be trifled with….or taken for granted.