This week has been one of those "gifts from heaven."
The opportunity to travel back to see special friends, combined with the launch of my new book, are things I've looked forward to for several years. Along with the joys those two things brought, there have been all sorts of unexpected extras: a packed house at the library author signing, an afternoon tea hosted and attended by many of my dearest friends (hosted in a beautifully decorated venue), and the smiles and hugs of town residents as I walked down the streets of the place where I spent nearly a decade of my life.
The expansion of the oil industry in the area has brought many changes but the soul of the people seems untouched, at least in their love and kindness to me.
Something else that hasn't changed is the wind. Living now on the West Coast I am well acquainted with wind and rain but there is something unique about a howling Prairie gale. For several days this past week, gusts of between 80 and 90 kilometres per hour (somewhere between 50 and 60 miles per hour) pummeled man and beast as they swept unhindered across the open spaces. I laid in bed at night and listened to the moans of forces driven by other than human hands.
Wind comes in so many varieties. There are those refreshing vernal breezes signifying the freshness and energy of youth and spring. They cheer our hearts following the cold of winter. Then there are the summer blasts of heat that sap our energy but ripen the crops and usher in a bountiful harvest. It is the brutal blasts of winter cold and pelting snow that drive us to the safety and security of home.
"He [Jesus]...rebuked the wind...and there was calm." Luke 8:24