Weekend essay: Winds of deliverance

Weekend essay: Winds of deliverance

The winds that barely rose to carry the light rains that delivered Irma’s tropical remains set the stage for these too-warm first days of fall. But they brought so much more.


They carried the pre-dawn blasts of the horn of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway freight train in the Castle Shannon Valley through the bedroom window and into a mind stirred to journeys past and life’s tracks yet traversed.


They delivered the symphony of the waterfall from the pond two yards below, its steady rhythms a soothing reminder of youth, punctuated by the deep-bass croaks of the bullfrog at rocks’ edge.


The breezes, too, brought the sounds of the crying baby one yard below, comforted by her mother mimicking, softly, the coos of the mourning dove. And of the still-suckling fawn, crying for its mother, her arrival and both settling in the tall grasses next door.


They also delivered from a kitchen unknown the smells of some neighbor’s late dinner – onions and garlic, chopped and sautéed — setting the olfactory stage for what the mind could almost see. Ah, yes, the winds suggested, sirloin tips. Medium-rare, please.


Yes, through suburban hills and dales, through trees and between buildings, over grasses manicured and wild, over gravel, asphalt and concrete, the winds that rose to carry the rains that delivered the tropics also heralded the autumn now bowed.


Soon, the winds will change direction. They will chase away the lingering heat and welcome a briskness, refreshing to many but, to others, predicating the dreaded winter.
But far from the proverbial “ill wind that blows no good,” these winds hopefully will deliver engaging wisps of the many better things that are to be.


Colin McNickle is a senior fellow and media specialist at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).