American Transcendentalism: An Online Travel Guide

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  A Page from Amanda's Journal

"Winds of Change"

My favorite element of weather is wind. You canít actually see wind even though it is so powerful. You can see what it moves, like bags, leaves, balloons. But you canít actually see wind. You can hear it rustling the brown papery leaves still stuck to the bare tree in January. You can feel it smarting with cold against your nose and ears. Or feel its gentle, warm breeze brush against your legs. I think you can even taste wind a little.

Wind fascinates me so much because it feels like natures way of cleansing. A strong gust can move all the stagnant air out and blow in something new and fresh. Wind implies that something is about to change. Even with as much as I detest change in my life, I live for the renewing feeling that wind brings about.

I watched a brave bird from the kitchen window. Weíve rigged up a birdfeeder on a rope (I suppose to ward off the squirrels, but they make it over there anyway). The winds were gusting so fiercely and the birdfeeder was rocketing back and forth like a kid on a swingset. There was one brave, brown bird that managed to perch on the edge of the little wooden feeder and knock some food onto the ground below. There was already a small mound of seeds on the ground, but this valiant soul of a bird just wanted to take a rollercoaster ride.

My 200 year old log cabin isnít very weather proof so the wind even finds ways to make it into find me when Iím hiding inside. It creeps up between the floor boards and tickles my toes. The wind leaks in around the doors even after my attempts of putting draft dodgers around the base. Then there are weird gaps in the log walls where the wind sneaks through. As it attempts the squeeze through the tiny spaces, it creates a high pitched whine that sounds like a childrenís toy.  The wind even blows down through the woodstove. I can hear it whistling over the top of the chimney and watch as it sucks the smoke and flame upward.

I always get a little giddy when strong winds come my way in anticipation of what new and fresh ideas and thoughts they will bring.


  Take a look at a page from Amanda's sketchbook.

  Amanda McCormack  is an English major at Shepherd University (Spring 2006).

"American Transcendentalism: An Online Travel Guide" was produced by students in ENGL 446, American Transcendentalism, and ENGL 447, American Literature and the Prominence of Place: A Travel Practicum. These courses were team-taught in the Department of English at Shepherd University (formerly Shepherd College), Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in Spring 2002 by Dr. Patricia Dwyer and Dr. Linda Tate. The courses were taught again in Spring 2006 by Dr. Linda Tate. For more information on the course and the web project, visit "About This Site." © 2003 and 2006 Linda Tate.