Any Way The Wind Blows

14 Mar

When I was a high school student in Belgium, we were taught in French class that in France there was a type of wind called “mistral”. At that time, this made no sense to me at all. In Belgium, wind is wind.

But then I moved to Spain, to a village a stone´s throw away from the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the many new things I learned there, was a kind of knowledge I acquired in the most physical of ways. That air can be humid or dry. We don´t really notice that in Flanders´ Fields, but in Valencia: oh boy.

When the wind comes in from over the sea, saturating the air with humidity, it makes you freeze to death in winter, and drown in your own sweat in summer. They call this wind Levante, because it comes from the east, where the sun comes up (“levantarse” means “to get up” in Spanish).

The wind that comes from the west is called Ponente (“poner” means “to put down” in Spanish, so that refers to where the sun goes down -it´s really that simple) and brings along the dry heat from the plains of the Spanish midland. Very agreeable in winter, but when it comes along during the hot summer months, it feels like you´ve stuck your head into an oven.

This morning I went cycling, following a bike trail that runs through the orange fields (when I get a new memory card for my camera, I´ll post some pictures, I promise) to a village a few kilometers up north. The wind was coming from the north, so it blew straight in my face, making my cheeks glow. It´s called Tramontane, because it comes from over the mountains. It´s a dry, cold wind. And I loved it. As a matter of fact, I was quite surprised to notice just how much I loved this particular wind, and then it struck me: this was the wind from home. This was the wind I had grown up with. Cold and dry.

And the nicest part of it was that it actually came from home, from up north. And when I´d gotten to the end of the track and had turned around, it blew me straight back to my new home, pushing me gently but firmly in my back, as if to say: there you go, honey, there´s your new home now. But I´ll come and visit you from time to time.






7 Responses to “Any Way The Wind Blows”

  1. canxatard March 14, 2016 at 13:31 #

    Zo mooi in beeld gebracht, Kathleen! De Tramontane hebben we hier ook. En nog een paar andere. En eentje die zand meebrengt. Die komt vast uit jouw richting 🙂

    • Kathleen March 14, 2016 at 15:08 #

      O ja, die zand meebrengt hebben we hier ook! is dat de Siroco? Die komt recht van de woestijn. Poëtisch he 🙂

  2. Myriam Dings March 14, 2016 at 14:05 #

    It was me, you know. I told the wind: tell her how much we love and miss her, but keep it dry, and help her to go back were she is happy now.

  3. Mrs. Brubeck March 14, 2016 at 14:38 #


    • Kathleen March 14, 2016 at 15:09 #

      Thank you Mrs. Brubeck 🙂

  4. prinses op de kikkererwt March 14, 2016 at 19:00 #


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