Roar

A few nights ago, late, I sat in the office working and again paused from my work to listen to the wind, roaring and howling and shaking, as I often do. Before coming here, the presence of wind was something I rarely considered, something I simply took for granted. But now. Here it’s necessarily become something I have no choice but to think about often, an omnipresent companion that remains always close. I have never before seen, let alone lived in, such a windy place. At least several times, every single week, we have 40-50+ mph winds that come in usually suddenly and without warning. I’ve researched and researched, but have found no one that mentions the phenomena particular to this region. Geographically, the presence of such frequent and powerful winds makes sense: the New River Valley lies tucked quietly in between the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a very economically depressed area, with little in the way of commerce. I remain puzzled, then, why no one here has yet considered harnessing these winds for power.

In thinking about the wind, I am reminded of this poem by Ted Hughes:

This house has been far out at sea all night,
The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,
Winds stampeding the fields under the window
Floundering black astride and blinding wet

Till day rose; then under an orange sky
The hills had new places, and wind wielded
Blade-light, luminous black and emerald,
Flexing like the lens of a mad eye.

At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as
The coal-house door. Once I looked up –
Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes
The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope,

The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace,
At any second to bang and vanish with a flap;
The wind flung a magpie away and a black-
Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly. The house

Rang like some fine green goblet in the note
That any second would shatter it. Now deep
In chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip
Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought,

Or each other. We watch the fire blazing,
And feel the roots of the house move, but sit on,
Seeing the window tremble to come in,
Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons.

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