Appalachia

Whither the Wind Bloweth

green trees with blue sky

I’ve always been fascinated with the wind. Oh I’m not talking about the kind that blows down trees and tears up jack. I don’t want any part of that sort of wind.

 

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(click on the video above to see the kind of wind I like)

I’m talking about the wind that blows in on a blue sky day and whips the leaves back and forth on all the trees at once. The kind that rushes down from steep ridges into deep hollers. The type of wind that blows soft enough to caress your hair back away from your sweat soaked brow and throws in a strong gust every once in a while to let you know it could mean business if it wanted to.

The wind makes me feel the smallness of my ownself in the largeness of the world.

Out of nowhere comes a wind that will blow for hours, even all day and all night sometimes, and then suddenly the wind lays and all is still again. That’s what we say: “if the wind lays.” But I suppose the wind doesn’t really lay it just moves on down the road to blow in someone else’s backyard.

Drop back by tomorrow and we’ll talk about the usage of the word blow in Appalachian language.

Tipper

Appalachian Cooking Class details

Come cook with me!

MOUNTAIN FLAVORS – TRADITIONAL APPALACHIAN COOKING
Location: John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
Date: Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29, 2019
Instructors: Carolyn Anderson, Tipper Pressley

Experience the traditional Appalachian method of cooking, putting up, and preserving the bounty from nature’s garden. Receive hands-on training to make and process a variety of jellies, jams, and pickles for winter eating. You’ll also learn the importance of dessert in Appalachian culture and discover how to easily make the fanciest of traditional cakes. Completing this week of cultural foods, a day of bread making will produce biscuits and cornbread. All levels welcome.

Along with all that goodness Carolyn and I have planned a couple of field trips to allow students to see how local folks produce food for their families. The Folk School offers scholarships you can go here to find out more about them. For the rest of the class details go here.

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary
    June 18, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Reminded of one of my favorite poems from when I was a little girl:

    Who has seen the wind?
    Neither I nor you.
    But when the leaves hang trembling,
    The wind is passing through.

    Who has seen the wind?
    Neither you nor I.
    But when the trees bow down their heads,
    The wind is passing by.
    –Christina Rossetti

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    May 14, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Living in the Virginia Blue Ridge, we used to say, “If the wind’s a-comin’ up the country, it’ll go to stormin’ in the evenin'”
    and also, “If the poplar leaves is turned up, it’s sure to soon rain.”
    I like Ed Ammonses verse.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 14, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Tipper,
    I love the wind too, it makes excellent Kite flying weather. When I was about 12, I remember flying kites in Emmit’s Meadow. (We also played Football there) We had Box Kites then and they would really fly high. Hardly see them anymore.

    Memories of youth really brings back old times. …Ken

  • Reply
    Jeanne
    May 14, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Have I missed a discussion about “jack”. What kind of things are torn up when the wind tears up jack? Also, we all made a lot of racket when growing up in Wisconsin. Still a lot of racket when the a Packers play.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    May 14, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Love to hear the wind blow! And what a relief it is in the heat of summer!

  • Reply
    C. Ron Perry, Sr.
    May 14, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Those are very profound thoughts. Make sure that you include those thoughts in that book that you need to write…

  • Reply
    Quinn
    May 14, 2019 at 10:11 am

    I’ve always loved to watch wind blowing through trees or fields. Lately, though, when a wind springs up I hope very, very hard that no trees will come down. I’ve got some vulnerable trees that are close to the house and fences, and there is just no way to take them down with spending thousands of dollars – I know, because I had 4 near the house taken down a few years ago. It’s a worry.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    May 14, 2019 at 10:03 am

    The part about your post that really made me smile was the “tears up jack.” You and my Dad are the only two that I recall using that expression. I could almost hear his voice! As usual, Tipper, you remind me of the things that we take so for granted. Who hasn’t felt the relief of a cool breeze on a hot muggy day? If you are in tune with nature you can peer out the window and know by the wind on the leaves if a storm is brewing. The wind is so important, but seems we mostly only notice if it causes us discomfort by blowing something over.

    Off the subject, of course, but I tend to ramble. You are allowed to ramble aimlessly when speaking if you are past a certain age. Anyway, my sis and I noted a word that her children laugh at every time she says it. If there is an unnecessary amount of noise she often says, “What is all that racket?” This inevitably brings a good laugh from the young crowd who seems to think she is using some outmoded old timey word. We grew up being accused of a “making a racket” instead of noisy play. I am sure that word must lie deeply in the memories of many Appalachians. Thanks Tipper for making me more aware of the origin of many of my words and sayings. Many will be sadly lost, as the years erase them from my already faltering memory.

  • Reply
    Sharon Schuster
    May 14, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I rejoice at the embrace of a friendly wind here on Hawks Hill.
    John 3:8 New International Version (NIV):
    ” The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    May 14, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Mom would say it was a kite flying day on windy days. The cow pasture across the road was the perfect place to go. The cows always went to the other end of the pasture so were no problem. Great memories making a kite out of old newspaper ,scraps of wood out of Dad’s woodpile and strips of old sheets.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 14, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Whither the wind blows!
    Whether the wind blows!
    Weather the wind blows!
    From whence the wind comes?
    From whom?

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 14, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Yesterday was your kind of wind here, out of the northwest with gusts to 20 mph. Sunny but with a cool wind, good digging weather.

    You would really like the sound of wind in longleaf pine trees. It brings to life the word “soughing”. It is at one and the same time soothing yet sorta mournful.

    Btw, Sharon made your strawberry pie recipe the other day. And I discovered something. For years I used to find her a strawberry pie on Valentines Day, at Shoney’s till they went away then in a grocery bakery. But in making your recipe she confessed she had never liked the store-bought glaze! Now of course, we can’t ever like store-bought again. That pie was the best ever. Now she is going to make the shortcake.

  • Reply
    Diane Tuttle
    May 14, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Love the wind!! And rumbling thunderstorms. Thank you for sharing your video. I could almost feel the wind on my face.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    May 14, 2019 at 7:13 am

    I like the wind that seems to only blow way up in the trees. It makes such a nice sound. It makes for great afternoon nap music.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 14, 2019 at 6:50 am

    I love the sounds of the wind in the trees

  • Reply
    Aaron Patterson
    May 14, 2019 at 6:28 am

    Are you familiar with the song “Wind” by The Jesters? It has always been one of my favorite Doo-wop songs.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 14, 2019 at 6:04 am

    Nice video, Tip, I love the wind and chimes, it’s soothing to my spirit!

  • Reply
    Tmc
    May 14, 2019 at 5:35 am

    I remember as kids, when we’d catch a clear windy day, we would grab our kites and head to the pasture across the road, a neighbor who owned a lot of land around us would let us boys play on his property and just grow up being boys and kites was always in the mix, no worries of power lines and getting hung up in trees just let’em fly.

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