The Mysterious Wind of God

Dear Reader:

I love the bushes Mary Lee, pew neighbor at church, gave me for my garden. I wish I could remember the name but these bushes turn the most beautiful orange color in late fall and winter…the cold seems to turn the orange tinge even darker with each temperature drop. A flash of beauty in the dead of winter.

Yesterday as I walked out on my deck and around the perimeter of the garden a sharp breeze kept hitting my face…I must admit the older I get the less I like cold weather…particularly cold weather with humidity and/or wind. I get uncomfortable outside fast in these conditions.

But it isn’t just temperature effects of the wind but the sound of it too that makes me feel strangely uncomfortable and I don’t know exactly why.

Yesterday I was reading some free sample pages from one of Kent Nerburn’s books titled Ordinary Sacred: The Simple Beauty of Everyday Life.

As part of the Prologue Nerburn recounts a story about the wind and listening that opened my eyes and ears to the importance of listening to nature and not being afraid of it. Since Listen is still my 2019 Word of the Year the anecdote struck me personally. Hope you enjoy it too.

Nerburns remembers as a young man walking through the Saskatchewanland prairies late one afternoon…he was on a personal journey to see the world through new eyes and was immersed that afternoon in  the sheer beauty of the prairies.

Suddenly he heard a truck pull over…it was a rancher who asked if he would like a lift…he did and hopped in. Like most ranchers who live in wide open spaces he was a man of few words…and soon a compatible silence engulfed them as they both enjoyed the beauty of the late afternoon terrain.

Around one curve the rancher slowed down as he spotted a break in his wire fence. He said he had to check on his stock and that Nerburn was welcome to follow him if he liked. At one point the rancher said something to Nerburn (while looking for his cattle) which Nerburn couldn’t understand since the wind was howling so loudly.

When they got back to the truck he apologized to the rancher for not responding in the earlier conversation but he said the wind was wailing too loudly to hear anything.

The rancher smiled at him and responded “Oh yeah, the wind. I don’t even hear it any more. The only time I notice it is when it stops.” 

*Nerburn took this comment and applied his thoughts to it (that I love.)

“The voice of God in our lives is like the wind, so constant, so present that we only notice it when it stops…perhaps in times of crisis, loss, failed relationships, and loneliness. 

It is only then that we feel the great emptiness that surrounds us… so we find ourselves reaching for the reassurance of hope and promise that we are not alone. God’s voice never stops, however, it only pauses to catch its breath and to remind us by its silence to listen more closely and take it less for granted when it begins to whisper once again.

This is a book for those who seek to hear that whisper…and to keep our hearts open to it.”

So until tomorrow….Jesus ( Gospel of John) said, “The wind blows where it will, and you hear its sound, but know not from whence it comes or to where it is going.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I have come to realize that cardinals would rather scrounge for food on the ground than try to hang onto a cage and eat from a ‘suet’ bird feeder. The smaller birds like the suet food cages…the larger birds…not so much so.



About twice a day….early in the morning and late afternoon I see Sammy…that beautiful red coat of feathers catches my peripheral vision every time I am typing on the computer. As I turn to look at him…he stops feeding and stares back at me….sometimes a whole minute goes by before the bond is broken by me returning to the computer or Sammy flying off….it is such a beautiful and actually private moment… sharing life with nature.




About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to The Mysterious Wind of God

  1. bcparkison says:

    I hope someone tells you what kind of bush that is. Beautiful!
    I love listening to the wind blowing through the pines in my yard. Years ago ,when living a little North of here, we could watch and hear storms coming across the bottom land and creek. We always knew when to take cover. I still enjoy listening to the wind and rain and wish I could hear it on my metal roof but the attic is insulated ….darn.
    There haven’t been many red birds lately but a whole flock of blue birds came through the other day and there are now robins begining to show up.( might be a tad early but they may know what we don’t)


    • Becky Dingle says:

      The signs of nature…a much better source than our weathermen with all their new tech radar and fancy names for new equipment…if we are quiet and listen to the birds and the winds…they will tell us all we really need to know…because found within this kind of natural “doppler radar” is God.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jo Dufford says:

    Those thoughts from Nerburn’s book are so powerful. I need to get his book and read it because I love seeing God in everyday life. Cardinals are so beautiful, and they seem to stay year round. Now we have two friends through you: Big Red’s offspring and Sammy. Has Sammy found the mirror on the new car yet?


    • Becky Dingle says:

      No….and hadn’t even thought of that….I pray Sammy is a reformed window pecker this spring or we will have to have a meeting for sure! I love Sammy…but nobody is touching my Surcie and messing her up intentionally!


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