It’s windy today here in Alpine.
Not the gentle sea breezes I recall from a childhood spent on the central coast of California, but the kind of gale that tests the mettle of everything in its path. Trees bend, windows rattle, and roofs threaten to disintegrate one tile at a time. High profile vehicles such as my SUV rock in a crazy rhythm while waiting for the light to change.
Incessant, tempestuous, it makes one wonder what these winds will blow into San Diego County, indeed, into my own life.
The patio of my favorite coffee shop is deserted while inside there is not a table to be found.
It’s that windy.
Staring through the window at a random pile of debris caught in a corner and tumbled about as if inside a clothes dryer, I began to ponder the nature of wind.
In 1963 Bob Dylan sang, “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind; the answer is blowin’ in the wind,” which was followed in 1964 by, “The times they are a-changin’.”
At the time, the “United” States (the irony simply drips) was a country at war. And although the sycophantic politicians were patently unwilling to admit that we were, in fact, thusly engaged (preferring instead the more benign sounding “Vietnam conflict”) they quickly and passionately labeled the growing student unrest an anti “war” movement.
That wind, of which Bob Dylan spoke, shredded the fabric of our culture leaving in its wake a tattered cultural and political garment that would ultimately require years of stitching and patching to restore.
And the winds blew on.
It has occurred to me just recently that wind alters everything it touches. Dust stirred; hair mussed; flags whipped; car finishes pocked; clouds chased; eyes watered; shutters rattled; sails filled; waves churned; generators driven and rock carved.
It is inevitable and inescapable.
And the winds blow on.
The origin of the phrase, “Wind of change,” is widely attributed to former British Prime Minister Harold McMillan. It is a brilliant coinage as the words change and wind are virtually inseparable.
I turned my attention away from the dance of debris outside the window and watched as a young woman in über stylish business attire, her hands clutching a tray with four beverage cups wedged into its receptacles, struggled to open the door against the gale until another young woman—hair whipped and tousled—came to her rescue.
I have no answers for life at present, i.e., where we are, what we’re doing, where we’re going, but that’s okay, because the wind is blowing, and rumor has it that the “answers are blowin’ in the wind.”