Today I went for a jog and the wind was not my friend.
The usually quiet bay where I run was heaving and swaying rhythmically. The water instead of looking like some kind of blue, smooth gelatine wobbling delicately as it usually does, transformed into a wrinkly, ripped sheet of paper that someone was trying to smooth out unsuccessfully. Occasionally, the water looked more like a long, mountainous landscape as the white peaks of foam undulated up and down in obedience to the strong gale which often came suddenly.
I find windy weather disturbing.
Bracing myself knowing that today was going to be hard, I held onto my cap to make sure that it didn’t blow away over the bridge, out into the water, far away. I tucked my chin in, looked down and started running, running.
I didn’t want it to be hard work today. Not today when I wasn’t feeling myself. Not today when my anxieties and insecurities were surfacing yet again like flotsam and jetsam over water after a shipwreck. Just not today please. But the wind was unsympathetic and instead of showing some compassion and kindness, decided to confront me as I ran. Instead of coming up behind me and propelling me forward, it came towards me and pushed me back so that my running was made all the more difficult. It made me feel as though I was moving in slow motion. Maybe I should stop. “I’m not in the right headspace”, I told myself.
I turned slowly with the arc of the bay, and I saw water spilling over the brick wall that was trying to contain it. I thought about the details that were wooing my anxieties. It felt as though people, situations, thoughts, comments were running with me and talking with me. I spoke back to a few of them and others I ignored, flicking them away. Some of them I tried to outrun but they kept coming back. At least when running, I don’t get that nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach and the tightness in my chest. But I can have meandering and sometimes angry conversations with my insecure and anxious thoughts. They become very real and embodied.
The force of the wind was relentless and exhausting. I thought to myself that any other day might have been easier. Why can’t you fix this God? Stop the wind, fix these people, fix these circumstances, fix me. Instead, the Spirit today was sending me into wild and windy places. Unsympathetic, uncompromising and outside of my control.
As I turned with the bay and came out around the other side. The wind suddenly stopped. I looked up. The trees ceased their swaying and shaking, the water became smooth, blue gelatine again and gracefully accepted its boundaries. The bay was glistening in the sun as though someone had sprinkled silver glitter over it. The blue sky was streaked with thin, transparent, white clouds so it looked as though chalk had been smudged across it. This was obvious evidence of the wind’s hard work that day turning the clouds from cumulus to spiralling cirrus formations. I read about cumulus clouds once and apparently their rounded, heavy shapes form in the morning then dissolve as the day goes on.
I smiled then started laughing. I kept running feeling the wind behind me pushing, encouraging me onwards. My thoughts focus, my anxieties settle and in that moment, the day seems to get easier.