It’s National Big Wind Day. This day commemorates the recording of the highest natural wind gust measured on the Earth’s surface. On the afternoon of April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded winds at 231 miles per hour. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288 ft, and it is the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.

I can’t imagine the wind blowing at 231 miles an hour. We recently had a wind storm in western New York state that took down lots of trees and power lines and the strongest wind gust was 101 miles an hour. Some people were without power for five days until they got all the lines back up. I think electricity and power is something we currently take for granted in our daily lives. We turn the light on and it works. We boot the computer and communicate with the world any way we choose. It has made the world a smaller place.

I live in an area where windmills have become common scenery. When they were first being erected there was a lot of discourse about whether they were a good thing or not. Some people thought they would ruin the landscape. Personally, I like to sit and watch them turn. I find it mesmerizing and peaceful. There is one I can watch from my sisters kitchen window. We have found it can be noisy and it doesn’t kill birds like people said it would. I haven’t learned about how much energy it creates and if it is performing as they expected.

Another type of wind is human natural gas. You know the type, the sound you try not to make when anyone is around. When my grandson was little, and staying the night with us, he was in one room and one of us (I won’t divulge which grandparent) was in the other room when a “big wind” was let loose. My grandson, in his childish voice exclaimed, “Wow,” as if it were a two syllable word. Now, when a loud noise happens, we emulate the way he spoke that day and marvel at the innocence of youth wishing we all still younger.

Big wind can be defined different ways. My conclusion is that the type that brings relief to the body, and the one that makes energy to run out daily lives are good ones, but too strong a wind outside, can be destructive. May you not have to deal with a destructive big wind.