On Water & Wind

by Katelan Foisy

When I was a little girl my family called me Storm Child. I’d stand on the stone wall and try to conduct the wind. Usually within an hour the sky would darken, the wind picked up, and a storm would blow in. My parent’s even have a funny story about a storm cloud directly above our house with the rest of the neighborhood dry as bone.

I could always tell when a storm was coming. If you live in the country long enough you can smell the rain coming. The trees also turn their leaves so the pale sides point up, when humidity and moisture increase the stalks soften turning the backsides up. This happens with deciduous trees like Maples and Poplars. My cousin and I would sit on the porch with our hand held radio waiting for the thunder. We’d count the seconds between the thunder to find out how many miles away the storm was. If you count the seconds and divide by 5 it gives you the approximate distance. In the house we’d take out the storm candles from the basement. The storms from my childhood knocked the power out often. It was always an exciting time and I loved having the candlelight while the rain poured down. We weren’t allowed to answer the phone or take a bath. Lightening could hit the pipes or even travel through the landline. If you are laughing or disbelieving I have been shocked by lightening through a landline. It didn’t feel great. With more modern plumbing and cell phones the fear of being electrocuted in the bathtub or bay the phone has subsided over time.

Storms were just the beginning of my love of water and wind. I used too think as the wind blew and howled in those fall and winter months that she was trying to relay a message. I used to lick my finger and and point to find the direction of the wind.

North wind: The North wind brings in the cold of Winter. It talks of struggles, set backs and a willingness to be patient and trust the changes ahead.

Southern wind: The South wind brings gentleness and good luck. It also portends to potential.

Eastern wind: The Eastern wind brings the cold grey air and cold rains. Symbolically the East wind is not favorable and brings in destructive change. However whatever destruction it brings it is usually to expose something wicked. In the Bible the East wind brings in locusts. Mostly the East wind brings large changes which are often needed.

Western wind: The Western wind is my favorite and the one of travelers. It speaks of new beginnings and romance.

The Southern wind lifting my hair. Dress by  Lauren Goodday
The Southern wind lifting my hair. Dress by Lauren Goodday

Throughout my life I’ve lived close to water. As a child there was a pond behind my grandmother’s house we used to skate on in the winter. Further into the forest another pond sat at the crossroads. Down the street was the reservoir where I’d ride my bike down the path. And a few towns over Quabbin Reservoir which once was a town, emptied and flooded to provide water for bigger towns and cities. On that land there’s a hidden plane that crashed during a Nor’easter in the 50s. There’s remnants of the the other towns and graves that were moved. The burial grounds of the Pocumtac and Nipmuc were left alone. My friend Isobel and I would picnic in the fields at Quabbin and for years I insisted my birthdays be held in one small area that had a picnic table and lead down to the water…

Read the full blog at The Vardo

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