Phragmites wave in the wind on Brush Pond. Timothy Johnson

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Unlike the wet, rainy winds in spring, the soft winds of summer or the rustly, quickening breezes of fall, the winter wind is a sound all its own. Maybe it's because the windows are all closed, or maybe it has to do with direction – on the Vineyard the wind blows predominantly from the northeast and the northwest in the winter. Northeast means raw and often wet; northwest means cold, sometimes bitter cold. William Shakespeare wrote: "Many can brook the weather that love not the wind."

There are eight principal directions for the wind to blow, but mariners divide the distances between these directions into four others, making thirty-two points, also called rhumbs. Thirty-two rhumbs on a circle, in the form of a star, is known as the mariner's card.

No matter. The howl and rattle of the winter wind is a sound that says a pot of hot tea with a delicious book and a warm wool throw snugged around the legs on the couch.

It's a good and comfy sound.


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