The Wind and Rain (April 19, 2003)

Gratefully, I stepped out of the wind and rain into the careful recreation of the 1903 cabin, each item neatly stocked and ranked with the appropriate precision of the engineer. Turning to look back into the blow, I noted a short, metal-topped wooden rail a few feet beyond the door of the cabin, about an inch wide along the top surface and about two-and-one half inches tall, running for fifteen feet or so in the sandy scrub. I took it for a path boundary from an earlier landscaping effort, overlooked by strapped groundskeepers.

For no particular reason I walked out to the rail. I began to teeter my way along it, balancing arms out, leaning into the wind.

The wind caught me and steadied me as I moved down the rail; I raised my head and the rain spattered my glasses and stung my face. Suddenly, I realized this rail was a recreation, as the cabin, of the rail the Wrights rode into the sky on December 17, 1903. The river of wind I faced and leaned on was the wind that launched us to the sky. Since earliest childhood, I’d ridden its’ tributaries around the world. The rushing sound of it ouside the portholed cabin remains a drowsy lullaby for me to this day.

I let the wind take my arms and raise them above my head.