By Grant McGee: CNJ columnist
As I write this the wind is buffeting The Stucco Hacienda. There’s whistling around the windows, the trees out front are rocking, I see mighty clouds of dust — probably carried here from as far away as Roswell and the Pecos Valley.
I can safely say the time of our “light spring breezes” has arrived. I write this with a wink and a nudge; there isn’t anything light about our spring and fall winds around here.
I grew up back east, where 60 mph gusts like we have around eastern New Mexico were rare. Winds like that meant trailer homes would roll and trees would crash. When I first moved here I didn’t know winds like that could be a weekly occurrence.
One morning during my first eastern New Mexico spring I felt a fresh breeze in the air as I left for work, so I opened all my apartment windows. Halfway through my shift I looked out the office window and realized I’d made a big mistake. The air was brown with dirt. When I got back to my groovy pad everything was covered in dust.
Once during a big wind I went out on a county road, faced my little Subaru toward Texas, opened both the doors, put the thing in neutral and let the wind take me away. I reached the dizzying speed of 15 mph.
Then there’s riding a bicycle with the wind at my back pushing me along, just me and my wheels. The wind whistles through the wires, rustles the grass. You should see me racing those big ol’ tumbleweeds.
I don’t have a problem with our winds. I’m awed by the power of nature. It makes me smile, makes me go, “Wow.”
Our winds remind me there’s something very much bigger than us.