A Southern Wind – Christmas 2011

The life of a southern breeze is usually pretty easy. You pick up a bit of heat off the coast of Guatemala, you take a leisurely spin underneath the Florida Keys, maybe stop for a forbidden dance in Cuba or some Bahamian spiced rum. You caress bathing beauties, tussle hair, catch a sail, and maybe grow up to be something big, something named.

But sometimes, perhaps when the northern winds seem a little more brisk,  when the east winds whistle nonchalantly across busy, shopper-filled avenues, a southern breeze gets an idea.

This one unnamed southern breeze,  late in December, decided it had had enough of Miami and Mexico City and Martinique. No, this little breeze thought a trip to New York, to see the tree at Rockefeller Center, would be a good idea.

The other breezes laughed and scoffed and teased. You couldn’t be a southern breeze so far north of the Mason-Dixon Line. This time of year, you couldn’t even get that far. But this southern breeze was determined.

As far north as Savannah, where its sultry cousins warned against going further, the southern breeze had a gentle time of it. Soon after, however, the going got rough. Other winds, unrelated, got in the way. They weren’t mean about it; they just didn’t have time, busy as they were blowing this way or that.

The southern breeze pushed forward with all its might, through the Carolinas, and even Virginia, before reaching the tumultuous hot air over Washington D.C. There, the journey might have ended–for some other breeze. Not this southern breeze. With a great deal of effort, the breeze found Maryland, and Delaware, and Jersey.

By now, the southern breeze was cold. Shivering. Freezing, even. But it continued, persistent, finally crossing the Hudson River and entering Manhattan. The streets confused it. The subways sent up breezes of their own, breezes that spoke too quickly and too brusquely. No one offered to help.

Alone, the little southern breeze made it to Central Park, and played a while around the ice skating rink. Then, it found Rockefeller Center, and the great big brilliantly lit up tree, and all sorts of bundled-up people around it. The breeze rustled the tree’s limbs and danced amid the lights, and there, in the dark of Christmas Eve, in that seventy-something foot spruce, the little southern breeze settled for a long nap filled with warm dreams.

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