Sunday, 11 November 2012

Let Me Go Wild

I love the wind. It makes me feel alive.

I grew up with a shelterbelt outside my bedroom window and blockading the backyard. Every now and then, when the wind was just right, we’d call up the neighbouring farmer and ask if we could fly our kites in his paddock. Sometimes the wind would funnel down the straight stretch of road where we lived and my brother and his boys would be out there with blue tarpaulins and car bonnets.

When I worked with the kids’ afterschool they’d go a little mad on days when the wind was up. I’d make them put on shoes and a jumper and they’d go wild in the wind; yelling and jumping and running. They’d always want to make kites with skewers and cellotape and scraps of paper, but they’d always break. So, we’d tie string to the handles of plastic shopping bags and twist the other end around sticks that had snapped off in the wind. Sticks, string and plastic bags and the kids would be caught up with the excitement until their parents came to take them home; worn out by the wind but wild nonetheless.

I caught the train from Picton to Christchurch on Saturday. I stood in the open air carriage as we travelled along the coast to Kaikoura and beyond with the bright blue sea of the Pacific Ocean that stretches all the way to South America. I went a little wild in the warm wind; singing and giggling and leaning further over the railing than I should have.

I felt alive. I felt like Mary from The Secret Garden when the household staff of her uncles’ manor would bundle her up and bustle her outdoors so she could learn again what it means to be alive.

Back in the carriage I sat down in my seat with my journal and a pen and a cup of tea that was going cold because I’d left it behind when I ran out to the open air carriage without a jumper and with my hair whipping about my face.

I felt alive out there with the dust and the wind and the wildlife and the view. Sometimes I forget what that’s like when I sit inside all day with books and pens and cups of tea. I want to keep rushing outdoors and remembering what it means to be wild. I want to keep wrestling with the wind and learning what it means to be alive.

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