Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dust Storm

Deming does not have snow days. It has dirt days.

Deming has days where a 60-MPH wind blows from the west all day, picking dirt up from the surrounding desert and blasting the city with it. The sky turns brown. Highways are forced to shut down. On Tuesday, the kids were sent home early with just an hour and a half of notice. The poor kids are always excited to leave school, before they realize they are going to be cooped up at home.

The dirt comes alive in my imagination. How old are these particles? How far have some of these particles traveled and where do they come from? How long have they been here, blown back and forth?

My wife swears that the wind makes her and the kids irritable. They get stuck indoors, listening to the wind howl, getting into little spaces on the house that groan or rattle. They look out the window and expect Dorothy's house to fly by.

In Dante's Inferno, the second circle is where lustful souls go. It is a place of terrible wind, blowing the tormented souls around and around -- one might say, just as lust blew them around in life.

The Sixth Patriarch came to Deming and saw two people arguing about a dust devil. One said the dirt was moving, and one said the wind was moving. The Sixth Patriarch was all set to resolve the matter in his legendary fashion, by saying, "It is your mind that is moving," but when he opened his mouth to speak it filled with dirt and he had a coughing fit.

Not a bad answer, actually.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Oh, my! At least when we have wind it isn't sustained (usually) and doesn't move dust around.