Sunday, December 18, 2005

Walla Walla Brothers

The winds from the East are racing down The Gorge and blasting everything in their path. Here at the West End we live in an icy wind tunnel. The earliest inhabitants of the lower Columbia, the Chinook, thought the wind was the breath of powerful beings who lived far away up the river. “Every sigh, whistle, moan or roar of the wind seemed to them to be the voice of its spirit,” wrote Ella E. Clark in her book “Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest.”

"The Chinook believed that the cold East Wind, the one that has been buffeting this area the past few days, was caused by the five Walla Walla brothers.” Clark wrote. According to the legend she tells, the wicked brothers to the east killed the five brothers who caused the warm west wind. Brave Chinook warriors took revenge leaving only one evil brother alive. Now the legend says, “the cold East Wind has blown only lightly.”

Well…Ella…define “lightly.” Today it is difficult to stand up. The wild winds will whip whatever you are holding right out of your hands, and be careful opening your car door. My neighbors sturdy wooden fence is strewn in pieces in the street. The neighborhood looks as if it has been “tee-peed” with plastic bags decorating all the trees. Combine these winds with the low temperatures being recorded this week and that puts the wind chill factor down in the single digits.

When I moved here I wasn’t sure if I would wear my Cabela down coat any more. Today I am glad I have it. I’ll pull that fake fur hood tight when I take the dogs for their walks today. I may have to tie rocks to my feet to keep from blowing away. Hopefully the remaining Walla Walla Brother will take a break for Christmas!

* Quotes and info from the Oregonian article by Doug Bates.


Post a Comment

<< Home