Wednesday, February 16, 2011


"If you reveal your secrets to the wind,
you should not blame the wind for revealing
them to the trees." - Khalil Gibran

Windswept - John William Waterhouse
1902 oil on canvas
Many of us have been having a love/hate relationship with Brother Wind this winter. I have felt more irritation from the wind than I have in years past, and I refuse to believe it's because of my age  (come on, I know that's what you were thinking). After all, I'm only one year older than I was this time last year when the wind wasn't such a terrible source of irritation, right?

I went for my usual daily constitutional yesterday afternoon in my usual park, and felt the usual irritation at being assaulted by a cold wind. It's 50 degrees, I thought...why does the wind have to be so cold? 

Well, why not? It's February in Missouri, for heaven's sake. As I forced myself to relax (is that an oxymoron?), I eased into the wind and breathed. I stood up straight, squared my shoulders, and looked up ahead of me, instead of hunching forward, looking down.

Before I knew it, I was snapping photos of things I was seeing. I found myself saying hello to other intrepid visitors, to their pets, their children, and anyone else who dared to look Brother Wind in the face.  After a good mile or so, a poem came to mind. It's a familiar verse, one I've read at least a hundred times. Was it Keats? no. Dickinson? no. Shakespeare? Well, no.

It was, Seuss.

I do not like green eggs and ham, I thought. I do not like them, Sam I Am. I chuckled. Ha ha. My subconscious mind is so funny. It was chiding me for being so entrenched in my irritation of the wind. How silly. Brother Wind isn't going anywhere anytime soon, I realized, so I'd best learn to love him. At the very least, I should learn to tolerate him better than I do now. If Sam I Am could try to like green eggs and ham, I could do the same with the wind. Yes?

So in keeping with my brain's amusing new attitude, I went home and wrote down my thoughts in the form of a simple Geisel-esque poem. Here is my Sam I Am attitude adjustment:


I try to like you, Brother Wind,
But, Oh! The mood you put me in.

Your careless and annoying play,
Can blow my happy thoughts away.

You mess my hair, you slap my face,
You give a cold and harsh embrace.

You box my ears and make them ache,
You cause my skin to crack and flake.

I love your cousin, Gentle Breeze,
Who strokes my cheek and tickles me.

But you? I dare not take the chance,
With one I cannot countenance.

But then I see him, Brother Hawk,
Ascending now on your skywalk.

And surfing on the unseen waves,
He flies atop one then, and stays.

Gliding up on moving air
He rolls, he turns, he dances there.

The clouds, they billow, soar and wave,
Then silently, they drift away.

You paint the sky with magic brush,
And suddenly you’re not so gruff.

Seeds and insects all prepare,
To fly this breezy thoroughfare.

They need no ticket, nor suitcase,
To soar along this lofty space.

You pick them up and drop with ease
Their gifts among the plants and trees.

The seeds take root, and soon they grow,
And look upon us down below.

Because of you, my Brother Wind,
We have both food, and medicine.

Perhaps I’ve been too harsh a foe,
These are the things that I should know.

Will you forgive me, gusty friend?
I never wanted to offend.

I’ll try to love you, Brother Wind,
But, Oh! The mood you put me in!
                                                        - Jo Floyd Lucas

 If you, too, have been bothered by the wind of late, I offer this as consolation. This is the trio Soave sia il vento from Mozart's comic opera, Cosi fan Tutte. The theme of this opera is what Mozart himself oh, so charmingly described as "fiancée swapping," just so you understand the three characters who are on stage.

Nicolas Rivenq, Miah Persson, and Anke Vondung sing the trio, and this excerpt was recorded at Glyndebourne in 2006. Ivan Fischer directs the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

The lyrics in Italian are so pretty:

Soave sia il vento,
Tranquilla sia l’onda,
Ed ogni elemento
Benigno risponda
Ai nostri desir

But they mean nothing unless you speak Italian.
Here is the English translation:

May the wind be gentle,
may the waves be calm,
and may every one of the elements
respond warmly
to our desire

Um. Yes, well, I'm sorry you had to sit through
the previous "poem" to get to this one.
This is definitely more like it...Enjoy!

Today I wish you gentle breezes.


  1. When the wind is a mean bastard - and he has been over this winter (he's not always so mean) - then only the most noble among us can write poetry about it. You rock, Jo.

    The sharp, metallic wind will soon enough be vanquished. There are hot winds of course, but I'm visualizing a nice long spring with gentle, soft breezes.

    A girl can dream, right?

  2. My disGUST for the wind is nothing new. It's my greatest weather foe. Your poem; however, has given me a new perspective. I'll try to accept him upon our next meeting.

  3. I've only started joining your blog. I find it most enlightening. You have a way of putting your thoughts and words together - so well written! I too dislike a strong wind, it makes me fear for my friends, the trees. But then I think - "How else are those dead branches I can't reach going to be cleaned awa?" My back yard is on the edge of the woods, so I have many huge ones. On a beautiful summers eve my husband and I enjoy an evening wine beneath them. When the wind blows and catches their tops - they seem to dance to the soft music we have playing. It is magical! I find such beauty in her power. I call it she - for man could not have such beauty and anger within!

  4. YES, Reya. A girl can and should dream. It's often how we make it through the reality part of life, isn't it? I'm joining you in that dream.

    My attempt at poetry noble? You are waaaay too kind. Thank you, my friend.

  5. Randall, I'm in complete agreement. My first memory in life is the F-5 tornado that smashed through our neighborhood when I was three years old, so of course, the wind has always been my greatest weather foe, too.

    Acceptance is the goal then, yes? it! Thank you for stopping by and joining the conversation. You always have something clever to add.

  6. Hi Donna! Thank you for the very kind words. I hope you'll continue to enjoy the blog.

    Your place sounds beautiful, and very much like mine, backing up to natural wooded space. I love sitting on the deck and watching the tree tops dance in the wind, too.

    I never thought about it helping to prune out the dead wood for us...yet one more reason to be on better terms with our brother/sister!

    Thanks again for stopping by and commenting. I love gaining new perspectives from reading them.

  7. I LOVE the way the external CAN shape our mood. We are so vulnerable, in any weather! Thanks for the walk!

  8. You are quite welcome!

    I suppose the external SHOULD shape our moods, right? Maybe it means we are still connected to the earth and its messages to us, which is how it should be.

    Maybe we would be less vulnerable if we listened more closely to her?

    Thanks so much for the thought provoking comment, 2birds. Come back soon!

  9. Dr. Juice:

    The poem is of such significant quality, that I really can't spare a nickel of time on the rest. For the type of poem it is, its genre, it is...amazingly wonderful. You my wind observer are very talented.

    I would describe it as light and bouncy. There is that Dr. Seuse thing there kind of but more along the lines of the soul of what it was he was imitating, not the other way around. But primarily it is the hand and meter and gentle reflection. The hand treated the subject lovingly. The meter and rhyme are nearly flawless. The observation about food and medicine promotes "our brother" to our savior.

    Yes, you were meant to write.

  10. Goodness gracious, Dubby. Thank you.

    The wind as our saviour? Wow. Yes, indeed. It is so much more than the occasional slap on the face, isn't it?

    When I was walking, it occured to me how insignifcant I was, and that the wind was merely nudging me out of the way of his path so that he could do his very important work.

    So glad you came by to add your thoughts and very kind words. Thanks again.

    yours truly,
    Dr. Juice

  11. Jo, Thank you for your post today and I loved reading the poem you wrote. It was written like a song and I enjoyed the repetition of your phrases.

    The wind is a powerful force partly because the sky is so immense and that is the home of brother wind. It's interesting that you gave a "male" designation to the wind. Hurricanes for the longest time were traditionally named after girls.

    It was very insightful to include the beautiful opera selection in your post today too. How much wind do you need incased in your lungs to sing like Miah Persson? Thank you for sharing this beautiful interpretation of an otherwise nasty, old windy day!! xoxo

  12. Linda, we are kindred spirits. Your comments always resonate so well in me. Thank you.

    Your observation of the sky as home to the wind is beautiful, and I will add that to the long list of things I've learned from this post's comments.

    I was torn between using an orchestral wind ensemble piece for the music, and the opera. The opera won out in the end. It was exactly for the subtle reason you picked up on.

    I am in awe of opera singers' control of breath. They make it look so easy, but wow. It is not.

    I'm sorry to hear your day is another nasty one. I'd wish for sunshine for you, but I suppose the far north shouldn't be bathed in sunshine just yet. I'll wish you the warmth of a sunny day, though, be it indoors, instead of out.


  13. First I chuckled at the "daily constitutional" because at our house it means something entirely different. Then I laughed at the Dr. Seuss because I have just introduced my grandkids to him... Then I was enamored by your soulful and outstanding poem. Then I sat back and thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful piece of music.

    I agree with Dubby~ you were BORN to write. Thanks again for thoughts and music<3

    Love and peace to you...

    BTW~your following is increasing every day. YAY!

  14. Vicki, you make me smile every time I hear from you. Thank you so much for your love and support. I feel it in every comment you write.
    And you're the BEST PR person anyone could ever ask for!

    Love and peace back to you, dear friend

  15. jo i very like that you see through and around the wind because as a person who gets around chiefly by the propulsion provided by his own limbs, the wind is a piece of the thinking that goes into whether or not it'll all work. i'm not affcted emotionally as much as physically and then eventually psychically. such a cool artwork at the top. it has a line in it from top to bottom that i really really love. steven

  16. Steven, I can only imagine the calculations that go into each of your journeys. I'm tired just thinking of it.

    You certainly, then, need a double dose of the blessing from Cosi fan Tutte:

    May the wind be gentle,
    may the waves be calm,
    and may every one of the elements
    respond warmly
    to (y)our desire

    May it be so.


Your visit makes my heart smile. Thank you.