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Riding The Spirals


Each year my people celebrate the return of “The Thermals”. Our smallcountry relies upon all of the natural resources which we have learned to cherish throughout time everlasting. Our folklore, culture, and livelihood has always depended upon the blessings of “The Thermals”. Every passing season seems to somehow be tied to the flow of the winds around our patch of earth. The Great Beings taught my people how to harvest the power of the Air. Our windmills capture and handle the force of the winds just like birds ride, dodge, and dare every air current. Colorful, hand-sewn sails, a few emblazoned with family totems, are attached to the yardarms of all of our windmills. These mills provide energy, mechanical brawn, signaling, and bird’s-eye view security. Any person standing nearby upon the ground as the arms of the sails swoosh past will feel the strong pull of air. Sails brush along the earth barely missing the grass growing beneath them. The first lesson taught to all children, and any newcomer, is to listen for the fast approaching sails. It is a sound as deep as the heartbeat of a giant animal. Now, a collision won’t kill you…..but you won’t soon forget it. Every child and adult knows the importance of our windmills. We are all taught early on how the blessings of each small gust can move ponderous stone grinders, motions which might require many hands, or several sturdy animals to produce ground food staples for our villages. This custom is always taught to each generation. A passed down practice which frees up many hands to do other needed chores, and additional farm work.

Each Spring, before all of the hard labors truly begin, the birds announce the arrival of “The Thermals”. Every bird, especially our beloved storks take to the air as the chilled, damp currents begin to warm, and spiral upwards into the promise of Spring and the radiance of the Sun. Our Thermal Festival is celebrated each Spring. As birds float and cart-wheel across the heavens, we too yearn for that freedom. Our forefathers discovered that they could detach the cap of our windmills, after locking the yardarm gears into place, somehow allowing the sails to rotate, lifting the windmill caps up through the air like flying whirligigs. It is a rite of passage for an older child to be trusted with the cap of their

family’s windmill, to be allowed to soar through the skies amongst the birds and other sailing caps from our village. I stand this morning, perched upon our yardarm awaiting the updrafts from “The Thermals”. I too shall follow the flight path of my parents, and their parents. I want to see the sunrise caressing the dark ocean waters with my own eyes. But. I must remember to remove my wooden field clogs before I take off, so as to not give someone on the ground below me a concussion should my shoes fall from my feet during flight. liz delaney


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