By Bruce Stambaugh
The cold and wet of winter and early spring seemed to be unrelenting. The constant breezes made already cold days seem even more so, and damper than they really were. It felt like the wind had blown nonstop since Thanksgiving.
To paraphrase John Heywood, who first penned the words in the 16th century, “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.” That’s the way I thought of the many persistent gales that delivered us storm after storm for four months.
We here in northeast Ohio have endured a variety of weather elements for too long. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, ice, fog, torrential rains, flooding, and bone chilling temperatures have all been part of our weather menu. However, it has been the relentless wind that has been the most bothersome. It made even a sunny spring day seem like February all over again.
Day after day the icy wind seemed to go right through you. It was that bad. As much as I love weather, I had about had it with the unyielding gales.
I am glad, however, that the wind does aid farmers by drying out the mushy soil so planting can begin. But I pity the many Amish farmers who have had to spread, plow, harrow, and plant in the endless blusters. They and their trusty draft horses had to be freezing.
There’s another hazard to wind. Wildfire danger increases when steady breezes dry out already brittle dormant foliage and grasses. That’s one reason why spring’s quenching rainfalls are so welcome, even if they are accompanied by nasty winds.
On a recent trip to visit friends in Leamington, Ontario, a steady wind buffeted our van on the trip north. Along the Ohio Turnpike we spotted a Bald Eagle soaring against the northwest wind over an open field in search of prey.
We discovered that the weather in Ontario, including the wind, hadn’t been any better than ours. Indeed, we wore sweaters and jackets during the extended weekend.
The only exception was our last day there, Monday, April 15. That day dawned in beauty and quiet. The sun shone brightly as we said goodbye to our friends.
By afternoon as we reentered the U.S., the wind had once again picked up. At least it helped push us homeward as we traveled.
I was glad to see the sun, and feel its welcome warmth. Perhaps the stubborn winter weather systems that brought the chilling blustery northwest winds had finally been broken.
Shortly after 4 p.m. I turned on the van’s radio to listen to the news. From the announcers’ demeanors we knew that something serious had happened, only neither my wife or I were clear as to what the problem was. As we listened, we learned of the bombings in Boston.
Like most good people of the world, we were horrified. It was an ill wind no good citizen could ever have anticipated.
Tolerating a persistent cold wind is one thing. Enduring a terrible, intentional act of violence is another concern altogether.
We must live our lives as best we can, embracing each new day with gusto, hope and a fearlessness that no harsh wind, natural or man-made, can destroy.