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  • Writer's pictureJohn Ellington

Whisper Winds, I'm Never Coming Home - The Haunting Spirit of Nature




Whisper Winds, running through my hair

Don't know why you're going, and I can't say where

Take my hand into the great unknown

Whisper Winds, I'm never coming home


They came out of the river, and down the mountainside

Water turned to silver, and darkness into light

Voices sound familiar, but their faces are obscured

They reach for me and whisper, saying "Freedom is the cure"


We get knocked down, we get back up

Do we care about the things we love?

They break our hearts and steal our souls

Even the newest things in life get old

Lost out in the cold

Writing melodies to sooth our souls


There is a place I know where you can find your wild soul

Away from all the f***ing monsters and impossibles

The Whisper Winds they showed me, now I'm going to show it to you

Just close your eyes and take my hand and you'll know just what to do


On the trail that turns aside, that's where our story begins

Ghosts are floating through the sky; they like to call me their friend

Like to call me their friend...


Where the old tree grows, on the mountainside

Where the water glows, and the ghosts all hide

Only then will you open up your mind

From the endless tree above the moonrise


 

I wrote this song seven years ago during my first semester of veterinary school as an emotional, introspective "cry for help" after spending hours studying anatomy. My brain was fried, and I longed to be somewhere wild, instead of a formaldehyde-laden laboratory surrounded by cadavers and, even worse, stressed classmates.


I think a lot of people that don't truly spend time in nature fantasize about its beauty and healing potential. Through screensavers and documentaries, they see vistas of mountains, forests, and desolate beaches and are inspired, thinking, "If only I could be there instead of at work." They view nature as good, singular and one dimensional.


I agree that nature has the potential to heal. I believe spending time in wild places can make one feel full and reset their view on life and stressors. It's nice to feel little from time to time and to remove oneself from the center of the universe to appreciate the vastness of the postcard world. However, I do not think it's always that simple. Nature is not one dimensional. It is a dynamic interplay of physics, biology, ecology, order and disorder.


I have always felt that nature is haunted, hence the writing of this song and also the undertones of my novel. We feel drawn to wander from concrete jungles into real jungles. We see a mountain and dream of climbing it. We search through valleys and follow the sound of falling water. Somewhere deep in our souls is the deep-rooted, desperate longing to get lost. We are so found and known in the real world that we subconsciously fantasize about the idea of being unknown, of disappearing. Nature whispers to us to trust it.


When adventuring with friends, we have distractions. We can drink around a campfire, gossip about friends, occupy ourselves with plans and tasks. With a loved one we can even allow ourselves to be overtaken by romance, which clouds all aspects the world around us. When we go into the wild on our own, though, we are left with nothing but our own raw thoughts and emotions. When else in life do we experience that? Don't say at home. Most of us are unable to detach ourselves from technology. When we are "alone" we are in front of a television, scrolling through our phones, or even reading someone else's thoughts and emotions in a novel.


Rarely do we have such overwhelming silence as we do in the middle of the mountains at night. The silence is almost deafening, and we are placed bare-naked in front of our deepest thoughts with nothing to distract us, nothing to quell them, no one to act as a buffer. We must confront our souls and better understand ourselves. I don't believe people enjoy that. Despite being the center of our respective universes, I think people only like to understand themselves on a superficial level, afraid of what they might find when they dig deeper.


“Whispering winds. They aren’t ghosts, in a true sense—more like spirits. You hear them in the breeze, you feel them in the bark of a pine, you see them in that sunset.” He now moved his finger in the direction of the fading light. “They call to you. Everyone hears them in their own way, though most never listen or recognize them...Good souls follow the voices and find life out there. A bad soul festers and rots in the wild.” -Quote from Chapter 7


This is why I believe nature is haunted. I don't believe there are ghosts in the world around us. I believe we have ghosts inside of us, that are brought to the surface when we let ourselves be still enough. Nature uniquely brings them to the surface and forces us to confront them. This is important, as we need to confront them. We need to understand ourselves more deeply than we can in the monotony of daily life. I'm no expert on mental health, but I think if we truly understood ourselves then we would know our minds and learn to cherish and love them, not be afraid of them. There is fear in the unknown.


You may read this and think I am insane. I would challenge you to go camping alone next to a stream and listen with your heart and your soul. When you leave the trail, tell me you didn't learn something about yourself as you pretend you didn't hear voices in the river. You don't have to tell anyone. I know you heard them, because I hear them too.




Thanks for reading. Until next time,

--John

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