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The refrain of an old country-music song about the West ends with the phrase, “And they call the wind ‘Moriah!’” There are other names for wind as well: Diablo (the devil wind), zephyr, mistral ( a mountainous flow of air that can create psychological mayhem), tempest, hurricane, and so forth. Moriah is not normally associated with wind, but it is associated with faith and sacrifice. It was supposedly at Moriah where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac, and it was on Mt. Moriah (possibly the same place) where Solomon’s Temple was built. Wind is metaphorical in many ways; wind and its many synonyms appear in poetry, religion (the word spirit literally means “wind” or “breath”), adventure stories, even jokes (as in passing …, ah, better not go there!).

The guy who said, “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good,” was obviously not thinking of the many catastrophe adjusters who make their living handling windstorm claims, or the contractors and suppliers who descend upon wind-destroyed properties to rebuild. But for the average Joe, ill winds such as Katrina and Rita and other named 2005 hurricanes, a multitude of tornadoes, and white-out blizzards are devastatingly ill. Just how devastating struck home recently when I received my Florida property insurance surcharge on a tiny little concrete condo miles from the ocean that the Big Bad Wolf himself could not huff and puff and blow away.

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