Last night, lying in bed, snug as a bug in a rug, I heard the gentle evening wind outside of the window, and for the briefest of moments I believed I was in a tent.
I'm not sure why. It's been awhile since I've been in a tent, outdoors, camping. But when you are in a tent the wind is a close and fragile thing; it seems powerful, yes, ready and willing to tear the fabric of that artifical enclosure apart withs its invisible jaws, but it also seems rather distant. Almost alone. The sound of a wind on a tent is the sound of someone pleading to come in.
Last night's sound was similar. It is cool here now, the Philippines' rainy season beginning with a burst of rain and breeze, and the nights are damper than usual, with a wind that seems anxious to announce its presence.
I lay there, and listened to the wind, and closed my eyes, and for a moment I could not be sure where I was -- not with any certainty, in any event. I might have been in Ontario on a late September evening. I might have been in Japan in early November. In the dark, with your eyes closed, with the sound of the wind, time and distance become irrelevant, almost laughable. One can listen to the wind in the dark, listen to it aching to come in, and feel something close to guilt at ignoring its futile requests.
The wind must stay outside. Inside it is warm, if not hot, and the night is long, if not forever, and for the moment, if not eternity, the wind must be kept outside.
A fragile sort of victory, I suppose, this childish denial of the wind's demands. But it doesn't feel that way at night, when the day is over and the dreams are waiting.