An Unexpected Visit
As I was running down a lonely gravel road today, I heard from behind me what sounded like an approaching waterfall. Just as I was noticing this, wind began to blow grass and dust past me from behind. I stopped and spun around only to be stunned by the realization that I was now in the middle of a quickly rotating mass of air. It was about 25 feet across and surging all around me, blowing the grass and dust into a ring of frantic activity. It was marvelously unexpected. I must have looked like a dazed five-year-old standing there in the middle of the road slack-jawed and wide-eyed.
Slowly the vortex began to move off of the road and out into a bean field, contracting and expanding as it went. Not wanting to let the experience go, I ran after it through the knee-high beans. Now the presence of the funnel was even more obvious for it flattened the beans nearly to the ground as it spun over them with enough force to occasionally rip off leaves and send them spinning a hundred feet or so into the air.
I clumsily dashed about for a bit trying to capture the most intense center of the little devil, but eventually I realized I wasn’t likely to experience anything better than I already had already been gifted with, so I stopped. I stood there for maybe five minutes or so watching it work its way across the field, snatching up bean leaves and twirling them skyward. Above me the sky was blue, dotted only with the occasional puffy cloud. Grinning from ear to ear, I pulled some bean stalks out of my running sandals and walked back to the road.
What a strange thing, this life.