The desert wind is warm and friendly, like a hug.
It is also a warning: cover your eyes! "Times!" 4th graders on the playground holler as they pause their game of tag to turn their back to the wind and cover their eyes. Teachers hold their skirts down and feel the pricks of the grains of sands on the back of their legs. The gust stops within a few seconds with nothing the worse for wear.
Sometimes weaker gusts come to pick up the dust in an empty lot and give it a spin in one of nature's most amazing phenomena, the dust devil.
Inside, if windows have screens, the wind is loud and annoying. It shrieks in the screens for hours at night, only letting up if the window is cracked open.
Sometimes, the wind brings rain. It throws the rain down in waves that bounce down the road, not deterring kids running through the neighborhood. It sticks the combination of rain and dust in the screens, leaving a peculiar smell that can only be described as monsoon aftermath. The desert wind and rain are rarely chilly, inviting you to go out and take a walk and revel in their friendship.
Here and now, the wind is cold and bitter. It makes bare ankles sticking out from leggings start to freeze. It drives people inside to their warm houses and cars. It makes noses and cheeks red.
But the wind is still special to me.
It's like a meaner cousin of the big, friendly, warm desert wind. There's not usually much wind here, at least not on the grand "haboob" scale. Days like today are cool because I can hear the wind running through the neighborhood, just like in the desert. It's nice to feel it try to push me over, no matter how cold it is.
The wind is still a gift.
And how blessed I am that I have the big, comforting wind to remember when the chilly, bitter wind freezes my ankles on days like today.