This morning Cooke’s Peak had snagged herself a piece of cloud out of the scuttling wind. It twisted and contorted, as if to break free of the mountain’s claw, sometimes looking like a dragon’s head, sometimes like a bird about to launch downwind, and once like the cornette worn by the Daughters of Charity and popularized by the 60’s TV series, “The Flying Nun. The stable mountains and the wind weave the clouds into ever-changing patterns of the old and the new.
Is that not life? The book I’m reading, a primer in conservative social fundamentalism, would take us back to the 1950’s Leave-it-to-Beaver days of sexual morals, family stability and religion with no mention at all of Jim Crow, segregation, redlining in real estate and the Klan. No, the winds of time have blown those days with their glory and their sin into the past, and recovering them is impossible. There are mountains of stability: the human tension between companionship and solitude, challenge and safety, freedom and surrender; the value of truth, goodness and beauty; and the mystery behind it all. The winds blow us like clouds through these peaks from different directions and at different times, making them look unarguably one way at one time and another in another age.
These are days of change, and they will be for a good while, probably well past my time. Grab on, then, to the peak that snags you, but don’t fight the wind. It will only tear you to shreds.
Interesting to think that in Hebrew and Greek the word for wind is also the word for Spirit.