Well, Blow Me Down

When the wind blows, my nerves soon will rock. And tighten. And snap like a cheap guitar string.

My apologies to Mother Goose. But if she had to live through our last few rounds of Colorado gusters, she’d rewrite her nursery rhyme, too.

I should be used to this by now, I suppose. I mean, I lived for almost 10 years in Kansas where the term “blow season” is part of the vocabulary. For a month or two, winds out there kick up to a level that steals homework, slams doors and sends roof shingles dancing down the street like the stars of a movie musical.

But I never expected to see it out here. Not this strong for this long.

Ok, sure, Colorado weather can produce anything. We’re the sampler pack of seasons: try out all four in 24 hours for one low price. Want a sudden blizzard in the middle of Spring Break and then dry streets and sidewalks by morning? No problem!

It all comes through here. But it rarely stays. Most of the time, weather’s a guest, not a tenant.

But for these last few weeks, Kansas-level wind seems to have taken out a long-term lease. By now, we all know the script.

And each time the hours-long rumble and roar resumes, I feel every muscle start to clench. Will this be the one that breaks a tree limb? Or knocks down the new fence? Or drops a Kansas farmhouse in the yard, complete with Toto, too?

It’s not just what the wind does, you see. It’s the anxiety from what it could do.

In that sense, I suppose we’ve all been blowin’ in the wind for a long time now.

We like to think that we know how our lives will go. Every child gets asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Every job interview asks “Where do you see yourself in five years?” We want to see the future as just like the past, only with better toys.

If the last two years did nothing else, they blew that notion out of our heads with the force of an afternoon  gale. Everything has changed and changed and changed again, from the everyday (“Hire somebody three states away who works remotely? Sure!”) to the glamorous. (“Will Smith did WHAT??”)

When change becomes that visible, that constant , that weird, we start waiting for the other shoe to drop. Only to realize we’re living below a Crocs factory.

We don’t know what will happen. We never really did. And we don’t like being reminded of that. We invoke the Golden Age of Normal, forgetting that “normal” is something we create, a sign that we’ve gotten used to things.

But when disruptions keep coming – worse, when we know disruptions could come without warning and probably will – it becomes impossible to get used to anything. We watch. We wait. And we look outside to see what the wind blew down this time.

Sooner or later, we’ll find a new pattern. We always do.  But I hope we don’t also settle back into our old habits and assumptions. We don’t need to live life at high anxiety but we do need to notice the world around us.  We need to remember how quickly it can change … and how quickly we can. We’re not in control, but we can adapt.

It might not be a breeze. But it certainly doesn’t have to be dis-gust-ing.  

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