O wind, a-blowing all day long

Except for sailing, I’ve never been a big fan of the wind. In Chicago, it was bone chilling. On top of Squaw Valley’s ski slopes, it can be frigid. When you’re camping, you can’t light the stove or grill.

Last night the wind was howling. We didn’t lose any branches — or big trees — like last year. That’s the upside of wind without heavy snow, (AKA Sierra Cement). In fact, the leaves have blown off most of the trees, so I figure that fewer branches will fall in our yard under the weight of snow this winter. But it sure created a mess: Pine needles are everywhere. I even saw some tangled up in the handles of the barbeque.

Here’s a poem from childhood about the wind that I always liked, by Robert Louis Stevenson. I’ll think of it when I’m raking up pine needles this weekend:

The Wind
by Robert Louis Stevenson

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies’ skirts across the grass–
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all–
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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