Watching the wind

by | Nov 14, 2019 | Seasons Newsletter | 10 comments


Do you gnash your teeth and snarl at those windy days when gusts and gales whistle and howl around your house and down the chimney, when they blow so fiercely that if you venture outside, you are immediately thrown off balance?


Do you find yourself wanting to huddle inside and turn your home into a fortress?


Most people will want to hide. But plants, rooted as they are into the earth, are unable avoid the blasts. Have you ever watched how plants manage in storms?

Trees in the wind

While out at the bach in this wild spring I’ve seen how the totara tree tosses its head like a horse in the wind. The cabbage tree fingers the keyboard of the air with its slender leaves, while its flowering head quivers as if thrilled to be touched. The kanuka dances and shakes with dignity; its manuka cousin forms a shivering sea.


And what about humans?

Plants have evolved to deal with wind. So have animals. But humans don’t have ears that fold back, feathers to pull in, or thick hair that clings. We have clothing to protect us.

Even so, I find my body becomes a shield when I walk into a gale. I wonder what it would be like to move like the kanuka, swaying, or to shiver like the manuka, or even to toss my head defiantly like the totara.


Learning from nature

On an inner level, life will deliver turbulence. How can we move with it, rather than hiding? The problem with hiding is that I reinforce a sense of weakness, a belief that I cannot cope with anything but the mildest of weathers. And so I’ve been practising these three strategies to deal with fierce wind.


First, try imagining a world without wind, and all that it represents.


Autumn tends to be mellow, with the air still: a season that many of us will want to linger and not go away. But after a summer in California, where the weather was hot, dry and windless every day, I found myself longing for wildness, yes – wind. I longed for movement.



Second, instead of shrinking away, turn and face the chaos. Watch it closely.


Practise walking into the wind, even when it’s full of grit, sand or dust. Or you may choose to watch the storm from a sheltered place.

At my bach, I’m lucky to be on a hillside, with plenty of windows facing out over the bush. It’s comforting to be warm inside while witnessing the fierce elements outside.

So it is when turbulence visits your life. Your first instinct may be to run from it, to distract yourself, to wish it away. But if you have a place of shelter on the inside from which to watch and witness that inner turbulence, you may discover its purpose and be guided to meet it.

Finding shelter

How do you find a place of shelter on the inside? Through meditation, contemplation, sitting still, breathing steadily and deeply, or any other mindfulness practices.

When you can hold inner stillness, you will be able to witness/watch the wind in all its aspects.


Third, ask what is the purpose of turbulence, either outer or inner?


I will leave this one for you to ponder. What do you think? After my last letter I received many thoughtful comments. I’d love to hear your contribution to this conversation on my blog page.

Blessings of the season,

PS Would you like to immerse yourself more fully in the elemental power of nature? In my Sacred Earth course there will be a whole session on the element of AIR. Each element is a key to sacred earth connection. You may discover aspects of air that you never experienced before, and be called into an expansive relationship with what I call ‘the invisible element’. Do check it out.

This post is an excerpt from my Seasons Newsletter. To receive the Seasons Newsletter, you may sign up on the home or blog page of this website and receive a free audio meditation.


  1. Catherine

    Recently here in Wellington we’ve had some wild windy days along with downpours and lashings of heavy rain. Earlier this week, when in need of a walk, I decided to venture out into the morning storm, put on my waterproof tramping gear and headed down the road. It was a whole different experience to my more usual sunny day walks. Total immersion in the elements. Somehow the natural world embraced me, and I was simply swept along. The movement of air and water all around me, I became aware of myself as a living part of our much bigger living earth. Enlivened senses, the sound of water gushing, rain touching my face, the smell of the rain drenched bush, seeing the wind tossing the trees and bushes this way and that. Quite exhilarating, and highly recommended! Well worth the sodden clothing afterwards. Also a reminder of how the times I feel tossed around by life can also be energising if I’m willing to face into what is happening and be fully present.

    • Juliet Batten

      How wonderful, Catherine, ‘total immersion in the elements’! You describe it so beautifully. Thank you so much.

  2. Ruth TIDEMANN

    The wind speaks to me of freedom, of letting go
    of heralding in silence from people
    of being peaceful

    • Juliet Batten

      How beautiful and poetic Ruth; the freedom of the wind. Thank you.

  3. minnie biggs

    interesting about wind. Was just thinking about it How I used to like it ( former sailer!). But now living in Australia, and in fire season, represents only fear. The damage it can do. You will have heard about our catastrophic day, which mercifully passed without event here, but the fear engendered is not nice.

    am not. happy living in a stare of ‘alerts’ and fear, and there are months ahead. Months.

    • Juliet Batten

      Oh Minnie, wind and fire are something else, a lethal combination. It must be awful for you all.

  4. Peta

    Your post was so timely, Juliet, as I am presently experiencing a lot of turbulence in a work situation with events beyond my control. What is the purpose? To blow away the dross, test how well rooted I am to withstand the buffeting, and yes, how flexible am I to bend with the wind. This is a very testing time or all concerned, and it is helpful to reflect on nature. It is possible that we will be stripped bare, but the wind may also blow some seeds far and wide, we know not where. So be it!

    • Juliet Batten

      Oh Peta, what big challenges! And yet you identify many purposes and a possible outcome. I wish you well with finding your reliance and wisdom through all this.

  5. Denise Poyner

    Your post is relevant to me at this time. I am processing the difficulty of a new connection to someone that attacks identity as a joke. Indeed it was hurtful, and I was bothered by it for a number of days.

    These relationship “tests” are hard. I found my words – harrassed, bothered and would you not do that to me please – and I was pleasantly surprised at the kindly response of “OK”. I felt some small victory in restoring my power, and in validating my identity. And more importantly, creating a sense of safety for on-going communications with this person.

    So I have swayed, and tossed and turned and had a few sleepless nights processing the triggers of yore. Things are much more stable now. Sometimes, being strong enough to address a person with the problem can pay off.

    • Juliet Batten

      Denise, your story shows the power of turning and facing the wind/turbulence/tests. Thank you so much, and it’s great that you found your strength and created safety.


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