In Chinese medicine, we talk about wind a lot. Wind is the fundamental sign of movement, it brings change. We commonly call this the “Winds of Change”. The wind brings many signs, and signs are really the beauty of wind because we can’t see wind, we can only see the signs of wind. This is a powerful insight. The signs of wind allow us to be in a position to contemplate what the message of wind brings. Is it a gentle summer breeze to cool you on a hot summers day or the sign of a storm to come?
I think we should be happy about the nature of wind because the signs that wind brings us are really special. Do you look out your window and understand what you see? If we didn’t have the sign from wind, we wouldn’t be in a position to prepare for any kind of storm that is brewing.
Wind is interesting, it needs to express a certain level of volume, there’s a kind of tipping point where wind goes from almost no effect to an extraordinarily powerful force. Do you know that if you are recognizing signs of wind, then the wind is already building in volume to a point where it has a destructive potential?
We don’t recognize this volume until it reaches a certain level of intensity and this is the point where things powerfully change. Wind lies dormant for the period it takes to begin to grow in intensity than a simple puff of wind that wouldn’t scatter the papers on your desk can all of a sudden blow-up and rip the doors off your walls. In essence, this is the capacity of wind to let its presence be known.
What do you do in a windstorm?
The best way to be present in a windstorm is to take action and step aside from the thing that is stirring in nature. Imagine you’re going for a nice hike through a forest, at some point on your walk you can hear the rustle of leaves, interesting, quiet, a subtle awareness. A moment or two later a sudden gust of wind surprises you and you have to run down the path to chase your hat that blew away. When you’re on this hike and the trees around you start swaying; what are you going to do? Try and push all the trees back into their normal position or tuck in and seek shelter from the coming storm until it is comfortable and safe to proceed on your hike?
A natural pause
Sometimes nature orchestrates a pause. And we can struggle and resist it with no effect or sit peacefully in shelter while the storm blows by. In Chinese medicine, there is an analogy we use all the time; you want to bend the like the young willow not snap like the old oak tree.
With peace of mind you can witness the patterns of wind; you can see the storm brewing and still sit safely within. The best action to take with wind is to be present with ease. Simply, let the wind wash over you while you sit in stillness; learn to bend, ease and flow. The trick is don’t try to resist it because wind needs someplace to go.
This week, my daughter came home from school and had questions. She wanted to know in what ways our life may be changing for a while and somewhere in the distance, I heard a rustle of leaves. We talked for a bit and have been looking out the window at the signs of the wind as it is dancing through our neighbourhood. The weatherman says there’s a storm coming, though it still looks relatively peaceful, I am acutely aware of the occasional gust.
I’ve seen wind enough to know it does sudden things, not unexpected but swift. What to do? What to do? There is a choice here. I am curious and I wonder, what is so important in our life that it could not sit for a few days in wait just to see what the wind will do. Maybe I’m lucky because I see a clear choice. In our home, we can wait. We can watch and we can know that just having a pause is helping others. Just taking a moment to be at home with our family, even though it seems like nothing, is really something.
It’s giving the wind a chance to blow over and flatten a curve.
Today, when I look out my window, I see that’s how I serve.
Janice Brown, DTCM