There are things I like about March wind. It needs no introduction. It is straight up. Wherever March wind is, you know it.
Rendering all things equal, I like how March wind indiscriminately reduces us to an unfamiliar sameness: windburn skin, wobbly gate, stolen breath. Its unflinching equality makes our hair peel back and stand up; our clothes flap and fly in its wake; our eyes and teeth fill with its grit.
However, this is where my congeniality with March wind stops.
More often than not, I turn my back on March wind. Walking backwards is not my first choice. When I walk forward, it is to no avail. March wind's ubiquitous sweep slaps me broadside and with its tough invisible arm, sends me into battle.
Walking into March wind is like walking on the bottom of a deep dark lake, each step is weighted by a resistant siege.
With a mad and unreasonable disposition, March wind's punishing strength pressures me to succumb. I turn around and walk with my back as a sturdy shield, blindly stepping: toe, heel, toe, heel. Every so often, looking over my shoulder to see where I am headed.
From sunup to sundown, March wind's voice is absent the steady howling of winter wind. Instead, its restless wavy whistle slices shingles and sow sheds and summer shelters, sending them sailing across the way in cartwheels that skip and hop to their temporal resting places.
March wind is all riled up. Blowing in from the South, it topples chairs and tangles chimes, knocks neon signs and rolls empty waste cans, twists flags and upsets flowerpots. March wind rearranges order. On a restless rampage, March wind leaves a ferocious footprint, making grassy fields flat.
I wait for March wind to end. But March wind waits not. It arrives abruptly and does not stay, leaving me in the dust.
A resident of Southeast South Dakota for more than 30 years, Paula Damon is a popular columnist, keynote speaker, and freelance writer. Her column writing has won first-place national and state awards in The Federation of Press Women competitions. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright � 2007 PaulaDamon