Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Windmill

All is gray today. The cold mist of January is without any promise of heat or light. No sound or breeze. Just shroud of winter. The old windmill came with us from the garden I kept in the mountain valley where we once thrived. Before us it belonged to my mother-in-law. It seemed to remind her of a childhood home in Texas. It moved to my garden when my father-in-law came to live with us for a season, maybe to remind him of her. We couldn’t leave it behind when we moved to town. It has had many coats of paint in an unending war with rust. It needs a bit more repair to stand up straight and tall. Age has a way of showing. A time comes when paint is not enough.

This is the cold time of year in the Northwest. I see the old windmill in the fog and get to dream for a moment of summers when she stood sentinel over the peas and snapdragons. Stellar Jays and Robins would rest on her cross bars until a small breeze would come and give her blades a spin. Her rattle has been one of the notes to the music I would hear when I stopped for a moment on the sun warmed deck watching the grass grow and listening to the river flow. It seemed such perfection, a place to pray and hear the voice of God coming to my heart on the breeze that played in the leaves.

Here in town the sounds that dominate the atmosphere are sirens and the howl of the neighbor’s beagle. But when the wind kicks the blades of the old windmill, and I hear the rattle of her wings, and remember for a moment who I am and that I once belonged somewhere. Sometimes I want to go back. Most of the time I am willing to go forward with the safety of my remembrance and the promise of today waiting for me and she.

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