It is drawing nigh unto two in the morning, and here I sit (again) in front of a computer screen. Outside the windows the wind is winding itself up, scattering my papers across the table behind me and throwing small twigs from the trees into the yard. Soon full storms are supposed to erupt. Not to worry, the weatherman tells us, the tornadoes that are likely to form tonight should be small ones. Both girls were downstairs moments ago complaining of the heat. When I went to check, they'd turned off the fan and closed all the windows upstairs. No wonder. I opened the windows, plugged in the fan and tucked them back in, reassuring them that I'd come shut the windows again when the rain begins.
I hated closed windows as a child. My attic rooms were always hot and stuffy, the indoor silences thick around my face, stifling. I needed wind across my skin and the sound of peeper song and insect chants to lull me to sleep, reminders that the world was a bigger place than my bed, my little room, my parents' house. Some of my favorite nighttime memories are of sleeping outside under an open sky and waking to watch the treetops dance wildly as the wind picked up, and faint rumbles and flashes of distant light in the west announced the approach of more powerful weather.
I grew up attending stuffy churches with shut windows, but the faith I somehow stumbled into anyway remains. I don't know why I still believe, given the effort I've undergone to abandon that faith and the often excruciating difficulty of the journeys I've had to make to reclaim it. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the story rings true to me with a deeper truth than fact alone. Like fairy tales, it carries something I need to survive: adventure, beauty, strength, hope, a wind that blows from beyond the edge of the small world I've known, a wind that throws my life into crazed disorder and makes breath possible.
Faith and Faerie, I've been told, are incompatible. One cannot believe in both miracle and magic. One should not open windows in the wind.