Today is my first taste of a Minnesotan Fall. And it looks like a lot of work to me. In the summer I snitched fallen branches from other people’s yards in order to provide the necessary leaves (ratio: 4 to one to the kitchen scraps) for my composter. I guess the lesson here is the old standby – Watch out what you wish for!
The God of the Wind awoke last night with a vengeance and woke me in the process. And he continues today, hurtling leaves and black walnut casings every which way with a maniacal vengeance. And so I wasn’t surprised to read the erudite weather guy, Paul Douglas, in the Twin Cities Star Tribune this a.m., predicting not only a “bad hair day” but the arrival of an Alberta Clipper. This condition evidently happens when warm moist air from the Pacific encounters the mountains of British Columbia and drives the concomitant chill and wind (up to 45 mph) southeast into Minnesota and the Dakotas. Depending on the point of origin, I read, one might also experience a Manitoba Mauler or a Saskatchewin Screamer!
I think I prefer my wind to be named Njord. Or Njoror, as in the old spelling.
When the giantess, Skadi, was allowed to pick her own husband, with the curious condition that she select by looking only at a succession of feet, she thought she was choosing Baldur the Beautiful (and who wouldn’t aspire to that most noble of Norse deities) but alas, she chose by chance the God of Wind and Sea.
It was most definitely not a marriage made in Heaven. Or rather Valhalla, for that matter. Skadi was from Trymheim in the mountains and the woods, and Nyord was from Noatun at the ocean. We’re told they tried to compromise just as many modern couples do, so that they lived half the year in each place, but Skadi was born of the inland and Njord continually longed for the sea. And so it seems only fitting then, that this particular pattern, when it does occur, pushes relentlessly southeast, bent on it’s path to the mighty Atlantic.
Today this early Clipper is raining leaves and in the winter will bring the snow, but just now when I ventured outside I could swear I felt Njord’s powerful rush to home.
I have an awful lot to learn about Minnesota weather, but in the meantime, I’ll start raking.