7/21 "Any Way the Wind Blows" (album: Into The Mirror) is the final song on the album and it's one of my favourites.
It's one of those metaphor within a metaphor kinds of songs, but I remember when I wrote it, riding in the backseat of a car looking out at the trees that line the highway.
Wherever I drive I pay attention to the trees and flowers that grow along the highway. They're often verge plantings, sometimes native species-specific, and they tell me about the places I'm in.
I also pay attention to deer crossing signs. Have you ever noticed the different depictions of deer in different parts of the country? Some are exquisitely detailed in their realism. Some silhouettes are in motion. They're one of my favourite things to notice on long roadtrips.
I remember thinking as I started to write this song while in motion, that the wind is changeable and so was I. It has so many faces, capable of a caress or destruction. I thought of the words languages use to describe those faces.
When you listen to weather reports in other countries, even in English, there are variations to describe specific kinds of the same thing. In Ireland, the weather reports describe the rain carefully, with key descriptors that let you know just what type of rain will fall. Once I learned what they meant, I found them very helpful.
Anne of Green Gables is one of my favourite books, and Megan Follows' portrayal of her in my childhood made a lasting impression.
"What does mistral mean, papa?"
"A rough cold wind."
"No, captain, it should be christened after a delicious, perfumed wind. Like a zephyr."
"Then I will name the next one The Zephyr, in your honour."
That scene was my first introduction to the word "zephyr." It stuck. Like "twister" did from The Wizard of Oz. Becalmed seas. Howling gales. Beautiful and terrifying, depending on context.
Singing this song fills me with longing and lays bare my many faces. I can't wait to play it on the stage again.