This morning’s wind is blowing bright white clouds across the creek valley, sending them to the southwest, sailing through a brilliant blue sky. Usually, the wind blows the clouds in the other direction, and I imagine them heading eastward to our son and daughter, who live on the east coast, but not today. Today, it curiously blows the other way.

Certainly, when I lived in the city, I was aware of the wind, when it rustled through the city trees or blew my hair across my face as I hurried along a city sidewalk, but I never really noticed its direction. It never occurred to me to stand still and listen to its message of what might be headed my way. I now know that here are things to be learned from listening to the message of the wind.

Our life in the creek valley is so guided by the weather. When the spring air is cold, before we light a fire in the woodstove, we check to see the forecast for the next day. It may well be best to simply put on an extra layer of clothing for the evening, rather than overheat the house. When the ground is wet from spring rains, we know we must wait and allow the soil to dry before we can till or plant, and when the creek runs high, no matter how much we might want to retrieve a rock on the far side, we know to be patient and allow the water to subside. Only then will we be able to safely venture across.

As I sit on the front porch, sipping my morning coffee and listening to this northeast wind that blows across the creek valley, I hear it telling me that the day will be rather cool, and that there will not be much humidity at all.

I imagine that my brother and his wife are sending me their New England weather from the shores of Lake Champlain, and I am thankful. It occurs to me that this would be a good day to put on my wide-brimmed hat and weed the garden.

I have promised myself not to let the weeds get away from me this year, and I know that the wind would help keep me cool in the day’s bright sunshine. This would also be a good day to wrap a kerchief around my face and rake out the pigeon coop. I have learned that on a hot, humid day, the pigeon dust sticks to my sweat, and I dare not take off my gloves to wipe the salt rivers that run down my face into my eyes. Cleaning out the coop may only be a two-hour chore, but on a typically warm, humid, windless day, it is an extremely unpleasant task that I truly dread. This morning’s wind is telling me that the coop calls for my attention first, and that the garden may well follow this afternoon.

So, while my life was once guided by my pen and calendar, it is now guided by the wind and the weather that it brings to our valley. While I used to be able to tell you weeks in advance what I would be doing on any given day, I can now say, with a smile, we shall just have to see what the wind might blow our way.

As I wrap the kerchief around my face and head out to the pigeon coop, rake and shovel in hand, it occurs to me that this morning’s wind may have also brought me a lesson that could well apply far beyond our creek valley world. These times may seem difficult, but let’s pause and see what calming cool the wind might blow our way.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at