The Plough Wind

The blog I was planning to write would have been, in comparison, a boring one—something about how peaceful and beautiful the Mallett family farm is, how happy I am to be home. I would have told you about the divine smell in the air and the chorus of birds in the lofty treetops—treetops that are no longer alive and well.

A plough wind ripped through the farm yesterday evening, like that which I once thought was only found in A Little House on the Prairie.

I had just laid Rosé down to sleep, come upstairs, and looked out the window to see my family clustered together in the yard, gazing in awe at the wind buffeting the majestic tree-line bounding the property. I dashed out to join them, my eyes on the sky, where lightning was flaring in the seething gloom. Leaves and small branches were spinning toward us on the dust from the cropland beyond. Above us, wispy clouds churned, bearing a chilling resemblance to a tornado preparing to rally and attack.

Barely a minute had passed when suddenly something switched. First, the tree-line shook like never before, and the sky thickened with foliage and dust—then the wind roared and rushed against us. My father shouted for everyone to run to the house, but in that moment, I was certain we were too late—that a tornado was already descending on us.

I’ve never been so terrified. As I charged toward the house, I could hardly believe we were about to die the kind of death you only see in movies. I didn’t know where everyone was. Once inside, my fear did not abate. Scrambling through the darkened house for the basement staircase, thinking of my baby, I felt my chest seize up. I couldn’t get air into my lungs. Sobbing, I gasped and clung to my mother until I could breathe again. I’ve never had a panic attack before. When I had calmed enough to move my feet again, I hurried to Rosé, found her safe in her crib, then creeped upstairs again to peek at the storm.

I was surprised to discover that the wind had already dissipated. But in what must have been a mere thirty seconds, the face of our beloved farm had been utterly twisted. That majestic tree-line, which I had once called “the crown of Saskatchewan”, is now like a crown with missing points. We can see sky where once we had seen towering canopies. Glory Lane Acres is afflicted by impassable lanes, strewn with poplars sheared in half—like the brand-new power lines now barricading the road.

Weeping, trembling, I joined my family in wandering around the farm, taking in the destruction, mourning the loss of the beauty that had so swiftly, literally, been torn from us. Here on the bald prairies, it is not easy to say goodbye to those mighty trees that had sheltered our little oasis.

And yet, today, the sky is blue and all is as green as it ever was. True, Glory Lane Acres may no longer boast stunning lanes to walk or ride down, but the landscape is not so bleak as it initially seemed beneath that angry sky. Our farm is still beautiful, still an oasis in the desert. We will clear away the debris, repair the fences, plant new trees, and enjoy what remains—for Glory Lane Acres’s heart is alive and well. We will continue to gather around the fire pit and make memories, as we were doing the very evening before the plough wind hit. We will continue to reap from the garden, the apple trees, the raspberry and chokecherry bushes. We will continue to milk the cow and ride the horses—for none were harmed. Most important, that which makes this place our home was not harmed in the slightest: my family.

Our God may not have saved everything from the storm, but He saved that which matters most, and for that I know I can stand in the midst of the ruins and thank Him.

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