Do You Fear The Wind
by: Hamlin Garland (1860-1940)
- O you fear the force of the wind,
- The slash of the rain?
- Go face them and fight them,
- Be savage again.
- Go hungry and cold like the wolf,
- Go wade like the crane:
- The palms of your hands will thicken,
- The skin of your cheek will tan,
- You’ll grow ragged and weary and swarthy,
- But you’ll walk like a man!
|“Do You Fear the Wind” is reprinted from The Little Book of American Poets: 1787-1900. Ed. Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1915.|
They told us, when we moved to New Mexico, we’d be dealing with wind. No problem, I said, I’ve always loved the wind. Hamlin Garland’s poem was a particular favorite when I was a romantic teenager.
Well, there’s wind. And then there’s WIND as in relocation of top soil from one state to the next. I’m thinking a lot of ours is in Oklahoma. Still, the ‘ahem’ breeze does keep us markedly cooler than Albuquerque and in the summer that’s a huge plus. Sometimes it can get pretty exciting, especially during these dry days when it’s not unusual to see plumes of dust rising up all around.
The property is fenced and cross fenced at five feet. So it was a bit of a shock to come home to this futon mattress I’d put out in the big field for the ‘lukis to lounge on, draped across an outside fence. Which means the wind lifted it over a five foot fence then up against another one.
While I was in Canada, I’m told we had a haboob, essentially a wall of sand propelled forward at a high rate of speed. Not sorry to miss that, though I bet the pictures would have been impressive. When I saw this from a distance, this looked more like a grass fire, far too scary for me. Once I realized I was watching dust racing toward me at a high rate of speed I decided to snap pictures and run inside.
All this wind makes for daily complications. Before planting you need to put up windbreaks. And now that my hair is longer I keep it pinned up most of the time. Even so, I remember that great poem… “You’ll grow ragged and weary and swarthy, but you’ll walk like a man.”