In the middle of all the oceans, far away from the memory of land, there is a place of absolute stillness.
It is hard to imagine, the mirror bright planes of brine, stretched in all directions, without a ripple, without a wave.
But there it is, perfect.
It is here, in the crucible of nothingness, that winds are born.
The wind will start as small as a whisper. Just a baby, her curling fronds seeking purchase against the tides of sun, the pull of the moon, the crooning of the stars.
She opens an eye, uncurls her delicate body, and looks down on that mirror surface to see herself.
Of course, she sees nothing. The endless blue, above and below, are silent.
But- a single touch to the ocean surface sends a ripple.
The new wind circles, smiling at the tiny imperfection radiating in a circle away from her.
The world is bright, and quiet, and the ripple grows as it races towards the horizon.
The wind laughs, a hushed delight, and dives after her new friend.
The wind blows at its back, flying above the ripple, driving it on.
As she dances above the water, the wind blows herself wide. She races, her wings of air billowing up, her face a front of pressure, her hair the clouds that skip in her wake, her eyes the flash of lightning.
The wind becomes an almighty storm, her powerful glee chasing her ripple into a wave that plunges across the ocean, pounding brothers and sisters into being, the whole chorus line of waves chasing each other beneath the mantle of the wind.
She sees in the distance, a streak of darkness. The shape is strange after the wet sameness of the seas. She cranes her neck, strains her eyes, but the mass remained still on the horizon.
On, she pushed her waves, deciding to run across the distance, to see up close this strange, unmoving place.
On, she whipped them up, their frothing peaks slapping and biting at the toes of the wind.
On, she blew her body, stealing the ocean’s water for her skirts, the foam of clouds, and the drum of rain.
The mass came all too suddenly, and with a clap she slammed the waves against the shores of the land.
Up, they blew into mists and spray.
Up, they burst, trying to open her driving, pushing, windy force.
Up, and up, the waves came upon the earth, and the wind raced across them, roaring her approval of the storm’s violent meet with shore.
And, then, she flew across the sand. She grabbed at trees, bending them in her curious hands. She snatched the leaves and the dust, throwing them back to spin in dizzy array amongst her huge, dark body. The land coloured her more than the ocean had, and she drove herself at it, eager for more.
Forward, she marched her boiling gale, up over the wall of trees and rocks that guarded the continent.
She flew, throwing down the waters she had collected, wanting to go higher, see further, explore the strange thing called land. She whisked the last of her waves out behind her, her new sight set far ahead, away from water.
She blew, rippling the leaves out beneath her.
She pressed, seeing the hiding eyes of creatures, the lashing force of branches in her wake.
The storm became her orchestra, the thunder and crash of lightnings tearing across her girth were her instruments, the violence of her winds her voice.
She sang her glee out, flowing up, up, up.
Ahead, mountain peaks loomed, and up them she rose-
The peaks clawed at her belly, raking the force from her, spilling stray winds and splitting her.
Wounded, weakened, tumbling down the other side of the ranges, she bled and boiled her strength, somewhere beyond the mountains. She limped forward, pushing at the earth, pressing down at it, pouring her tears and life into the dirt and the creatures that looked up, unconcerned.
The wind began to pull herself in. She called her clouds closer to preserve their lush, full life and fed them her rains as dew to fill them again.
She slowed, wandering across meadows and through lanes. She lightened her touch on the world, pulled back and up and into the softness of the sky.
She admired the stars in the night, and the scents she collected filled her thoughts.
The wind drifted, blowing only raggedly now, her gallop slowed and dispersed, become gentle and wise as she carefully circled mountains that loomed before her or briefly dipped towards lakes to remind herself of the ocean.
The wind became an old soul, teasing trees and scuffing earth into the air to paint the sky.
Gently, gently, the wind kissed the land and shaped it only with time and patience.
The wind drifted beyond the trees and the bushes, into a place of sand and stone.
Stillness prevailed, spreading like her ripples, pushing back at her.
Sleepy, the wind loitered in this quiet place, a somnolent cat curled about the dunes in repose.
The stillness of the land, monotonous, quiet, hot, forced her dwindling body up, up, up, into the sky.
High above, languid and tired, the wind allowed herself to sleep in the warmth of the desert sun. She curled up, a tiny frond of wind, a child in the crucible of stillness.
By Danielle K. Day