I heard a proverb the other day that is sticking with me: What is brought by the wind will be carried away by the wind. There seem to be various meanings for this proverb, such as “easy come, easy go,” or “what one hand gives, the other takes away” or maybe even “you reap what you sow.”
It is also similar to “what goes around comes around,” though in this case, it would be “what comes around goes around.”
Like many such sayings, at first hearing, it seems to be steeped with import, but on reflection, seems rather simplistic. Things come and things go. Ho-hum. “What goes around, comes around” as well as “you reap what you sow,” at least say there are consequences to one’s actions, though in real life, that’s not always true. People who are unkind are often treated with kindness, and people who are kind are just as often treated with unkindness. So, actions have consequences. But sometimes not.
Still, there is a comfort in believing such adages, to believe that whatever unpleasantness that randomly comes into our lives will just as randomly leave one day. Of course, it also means that luck won’t hold — anything good that randomly comes will also leave — so enjoy it while you can.
Whatever the metaphoric or figurative meaning of this particular adage, I do know for a fact that What is brought by the wind will be carried away by the wind is not literally true. On the open plains, for sure. Thing are blown into an area and then blown away. But in a fenced yard? Nope. Not in my fenced yard, anyway. In the fall, leaves from the neighbors’ trees are blown into my yard and there they stay until I rake them up. Same with trash. On windy days (which around here are frequent) trash of all sorts is blown into my yard, and there it stays until I can pull on some sort of protective glove to dispose of the debris
I never used to be wary of wind-blown trash of any kind, but ever since the onset of The Bob, I’ve been leery of barehandedly picking up food wrappers, masks, bottles, cans — anything that could have been dropped by a possibly infected person. Bottles and cans, of course, don’t get blown into my yard, but people do litter, and so there are often cans or bottles left on my property outside the fence.
And oh, yes. Winds also bring the seeds of weeds. Those seeds don’t blow away, but plant themselves and stay.
Still, I like the mysteriousness of “what is brought by the wind.” You never know what could suddenly blow into your life by the whim of the winds. Something good perhaps. Maybe even today.
Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.