Wind is the air, moving, at a speed greater than a breeze.
It is also energy.
It is a habitat. Humans and cottonwood trees both live in it.
It is not something to be endured.
It is something to be lived.
That we have named it shows it is part of who we are. It is not outside of us.
So, too, with stillness. We gave a word to that, too. That we identify it with age and death is a gift from the trees. Youth, too.
In our language, our ancestors live.
Ancestor in poplars. The year after the fire. Lake Conconully.
And guide us. It is poverty to view words as descriptions of a real, physical world. That is only a use to which they have been put.
We are not a use, just as these cottonwoods in water are not a use but intimately connected with the wind. Look into its face.
You are looking deep into time. You are looking deep into yourself. You can turn from that to “practical” ends, but you will lose yourself.
Environmental thinking is a way of trying to keep self and materiality present in the same moment. It is healing an error — a social error — but not the world. That needs no healing. That we treat it as an environment rather than ourselves is what needs healing.
We live in the world. In fact, that’s what the word “world” means: where humans live. There are other worlds. Our ancestors knew this.
The Serpent of Siebenfelsen
That’s why the Duke of Sachsen-Gotha-Eisenach gave the poet Goethe a huntsman’s hut outside of his hunting lodge. It wasn’t so the poet could create beauty.
It was so that he could negotiate a new path, like any other physicist or engineer. But don’t take it from me. Take it from your ancestors.
They are many, and one.
Whatever form they take.
They live in the wind, too.
Ancestral Space at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump
They are the ones who tell you that it’s blowing. Today I give thanks.
Bears passing through the country of the wind.
How about you?