084. The Way the Wind Blows. Simone Schreiber

It feels like it was only yesterday.

A little girl stands underneath a tree, glancing longingly at the red apples on its branches. I swell up and rustle the leaves until one apple comes free and falls to her feet. She picks it up and runs to her mother.

“Mama, mama, look! The wind gave it to me!”

I have always been there, but humans are the first to give me a name. They are grateful, back then, for I bring with me the early promise of spring on rose coloured petals; I warn of the oncoming winter with cold air from the snowy mountains. I know them, and they know me, my irks and quirks, which way I blow today, that I will always calm down, however long it takes.

But time changes everything.

The young ones still giggle when I play with their hair, dragging the scent of soap and youth across the fields. The older ones are annoyed, they curse me or tie their hair up in buns, but I can still caress their exposed cheeks and necks.

They build tiny houses, but they still come to greet me. I help them dry their clothes; I sail their ships, and some, I help to fly. Many are grateful and dance with me as I whisper, and howl, and blow, and rage. But as time goes on, they forget what I do for them, and they begin to hate me.

They build bigger houses and walls to keep me away. I rattle their windows and uproot their trees, but they wouldn’t come out anymore. They hide and cower in their dark dens. Some think they can trap me, predict my mood or alter it, but my anger only swells across their land—they give me other names now: typhoon, hurricane, tornado. Still, they won’t change their ways; even my smallest storm sends them away.

I leave, searching for someone that has not forgotten me, that can withstand me. I find them on a rocky island far up north. They live close by the sea, with only few trees to give them shelter, and vast mountains I race between. Outside a hut, a boy is sitting on the fence and I show him my true might, try to lift him off his feet. He holds on, pulls his hood tight around his face—and smiles, cheeks red from my force. Unlike the others, his kind doesn’t mind; they embrace me; they adapt and welcome me, and go about their day with me amidst their tribe, as if I’m part of them.

I feel at home.

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