I leave my window open at night. I like waking to a symphony of bird songs, the breeze in the tree branches, and the trickle-harmony of our creek. This morning I was awakened several times in the early hours by the wind's roar. I wish there was a better descriptive word for it because it wasn't really a ROAR (which makes me think of angry lions sharing there feelings at an ear-drum-shattering decibel,) but it definitely was much, much more than a simple breeze. The trees in our backyard were bent over and the branches whipped about in quite the violent manner. I was surprised that it kept waking me up, since I usually sleep incredibly hard and have been known to sleep blissfully through the loudest of noises.
The fact is, though, that wind is one of my top favorite things in the whole wide world, if not THE favorite. I find it incredibly exhilarating to be engulfed by its juxtaposition of supportive solace and menacing threat. Wind is one of the reasons why I love to hike. Usually hiking takes you UP, and usually as ones altitude increases, so does the forcefulness of the wind. While other disturbances that disrupt my sleep might have caused annoyance, every time I was awakened by the wind I would smile, turn over, and let it lull (maybe that's too gentle of a word) me back to sleep.
The wind outside my window is still quite strong and I've been enjoying its exuberance as I read my Bible. I expect a good deal of clean-up will be required when it dies down: branches to be collected and leaves to be raked. But in this moment, I will revel in its beauty, in its strength, and in its danger.
The wind has brought about some thoughts as well. They are still incomplete, so feel free to comment with your opinion.
It seems to me that wind would have no sound if it were not for the physical objects through and around which the wind passes. It is the leaves and the branches on the trees that combine with the wind to create the wind's magnificent clamor; it is the rocks and the crags over which the wind blows that creates its melancholy howl. It is our ears that provide the opening over which the wind passes which then results in the winds noise in our ears. If these physical objects were absent, would wind then be rendered silent?
To simplify the concept, let's look at a glass bottle. When one blows across the opening, a musical note is produced. In this example, there are three components:
1. The force (the mouth)
2. The wind (air movement)
3. The physical object (the bottle)
Take the bottle away, and all that is left is the force and the movement of air, which can be felt but not heard.*
What spiritual applications can be drawn from this concept? Is it sacrilegious to say that the Holy Spirit (wind) would not be heard by others if it were not for humans/us (physical beings) who are willing to let Him move in and through us? Might nature itself be a type of "physical being" that demonstrates the Holy Spirit to those who have not had the opportunity to know humans who are filled with the manifestation of God's love?
*What about feeling the wind versus hearing the wind? I suppose that feeling might involve the same principle that hearing did. If one cannot hear the wind without a physical object present to create resistance and therefore produce sound, maybe one cannot also feel the wind without a physical object (hand, face, etc) to do the feeling.
Or maybe that is a slightly different concept because it seems to correlate with the age-old question of whether sound exists if there exists no ears or recording device to hear it. This question is demonstrated in the well-known scenario that used to get me so frustrated: if a tree falls down in a forest where there are no animals, insects, or any living creature to hear it, does it still make a sound? In our case, does the movement of wind exist if there is nothing to feel it? It seems that this is a separate quandary that, while intriguing, will get us off topic. So back to my question about feeling.
Might it be possible to feel the wind without physical objects present (trees, rocks, etc) but impossible to hear the wind without these same physical objects present? How then does this apply to spiritual things?