Zephyr or Tempest?

Mar 16, 2011 by

Zephyr or Tempest?

My son came home from school a while back, and told me that he had learnt a lovely word in school that day. It was ‘Zephyr’ – meaning a mild or gentle wind. We both agreed that it was indeed a beautiful word, and wondered if we could find a lovely word for gale. So out came the Thesaurus and we found ‘Tempest’.

cirrus clouds in skyI was pondering these two words later in the day and asked myself the question, “If I was to associate my life with either of these words, which would it be?” Ok, ok… I know, you may well laugh, but these are the kind of thoughts I have on a regular basis, and I do often say to my friends, “you just wouldn’t want to see inside my head!”

Well at the moment, to answer my question, I would be nearer to a Zephyr. Every day I rise and set my intention to gently breeze through my day, whispering little messages of hope to my world. And most days I succeed, and the other days I try very hard, and accept that I’ve done my best, but maybe could do better tomorrow, with the lessons I’ve learnt today!

“Was I always like this?” I hear you ask. Hell no! I used to be like a Raging ‘Tempest’!

Tornado and LighteningRushing through life, with my portable storm! Always focused somewhere else, not content to be in this moment, always focused on the next thing I had to do. I ruefully recall a lifetime’s worth of untasted meals, I blush when I think of the conversations I had in the past, and only ever recalled what I had said, because I was too busy thinking about what I wanted to say, to even listen to the other person. And, my children? Well we won’t go there, but I’ll tell you that I wasn’t always fully present when I should have been. Oh yes, physically I was there, but in my head, I was doing the chores, or sorting this or that thing out, I was miles away from them at times. A zillion thoughts rushing through my mind 24 hours, seven days, unchecked like an out of control vehicle on a highway! There was never enough time… rush, rush, rush… taking too much on, burning out with exhaustion… getting frequent illness, colds etc… anyone out there nodding with me? Does this sound like you?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, just a work in progress, like everyone else. If I don’t get it right today, surely I’ll be a step closer to that goal tomorrow, no point in beating myself up about it. I find the regular practicing of mindfulness and meditation really does help me to live my life like a ‘Zephyr’. But some days the ‘Tempest’ still gets a little outing! I read on another author’s bio, that sometimes what they write about, is not always the point they’ve reached themselves, but are en route to. And like that I aspire to live my life like a ‘Zephyr’… I’m not fully there yet, but I’m working on it!

So if you were to describe your life right now, which word would you use, ‘Tempest’ or ‘Zephyr’?

Photo Credits: Calm After the Storm by Craig Allen @Flickr

Tornado, unknown

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  1. To Brooke: I’ll give it try.

  2. To Tucky : Love your horse’s name, babe!! I know, I love thunder and lightning, too, especially in the desert!!!
    To Troy : On Thunder!!! On Lightning!!! LOL!!!
    To Laura : How about being zephyrly tempest….? That’s a happier medium…. 🙂
    To Michele : I get it, a little spritz now and again!! 🙂
    To David : Oooooo, I like that!!!!!

  3. David Traub via Facebook

    I’m the Hamatan. A constant warm wind that always blows.

  4. Zephyr with a little Tempest every now and then for good measure!

  5. I am the Zephyr. Somewhere along the way I gave up the Tempest. I think it was when I decided to experience Love vs. fear. Every once in a while my Tempest returns, and fortunate me, the Zephyr holds it to a low roar. 🙂 Paula, thanks for an insightful post. This is what many of us need.

  6. I wish I could say I was a zephyr, but I am definitely a tempest.

  7. I loved perusing (not exactly reading) the German libretto from one of Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas and spotting donner and blitzen. That’s when I discovered that two of the reindeer were named Thunder and Lightning.

  8. And my horses name was Lightning!

  9. Kind of like lightning and thunder! No wonder that I love storms!

  10. Igniting the genius within!!! : )

  11. Aren’t we all???? I love you too Brooke! Creativity does not come from the calm, it is from the storm.

  12. And then you are the sweet calm after the storm, my wonderful friend!! Love you, Michael!!! oxo!! : )

  13. I am the calm before the storm and I am the tempest!!!

  14. I know but I’m not allowed to say it over the air

  15. Troy – a warm, dry wind that blows at intervals down the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains….. I love it!!!! Magnificent!!!!!

  16. Dearest Ruth, lol, beautiful question!!! oxoxoxo!!! Occasionally…. that’s exactly why I was on the beach for 2 1/2 hours, lol!!!!

  17. The beach was gorgeous!! Now stepping off, grabbing my phone, and catching up here…
    To Beth : Thanks very much for the share!! 🙂
    To Ellen : That is a very Zephyr profile picture of you, girl!!! 😉
    To Wajja : Well, if you want my weather report, I see you as a wonderfully finely tuned Tempest….
    To Caroll : Now that’s the way to wake ’em up, gal!!! 🙂
    To Ruth : Kind of a peaceful easy feelin’ Gust, huh?! lol!!
    To Carol : Wow!! Yes, I can do the first, and no, I can’t do the second. But Danny Kaye does similar note taking in “Wonder Man”. It’s a fun film!! I recommend it to all!! Quite a story to be told!!!! 😀 But Carol, still I ask, what kind of wind do see yourself as? 🙂
    To Bob : Great question!! 🙂 Honestly, I picked the photo with the idea it was more of a Zephyr representation. You’ll find the Tempest photo choice inside the story link!!! Enjoy!! 😉

  18. The weather in the photo – is it a Zephyr or a Tempest?

  19. I can write backwards with my left hand and I can write with both hands going in opposite directions at the same time. Can you do that?

  20. The ocean breezes speaks my truth. And at day’s end, as I walk along this sandy shore, I hear the echoes of my own thoughts traveling back to me. Recognizing the whispers of my inner labyrinth, I know I am in my heart’s space.

  21. Wajja Theman via Facebook

    In my mind I start out as a Tempest, but it often ends up to be more of a sigh… ;p

  22. Both but lean more to the Zephyr. :~)

  23. Beth Landreth via Facebook

    sharing 😉 thank you

  24. Donna Morask

    Great article and I can relate to so many parts of what you describe as going on in your head. I am not proud to say that after almost 54 years walking around on this planet, I too am a work in progress; perhaps not quite so erratic as I used to be, or as frequently; but often enough I can go from calmly going through my day like a Zephyr, until someone or something trips my trigger. and then I become a raging Tempest. Zero to 80 in no time.
    Yours is a good and gentle aspiration, to live your life like a Zephyr. I search to find my balance every day, and your article is indeed an inspiration.