The sun was low in the sky, turning the world various shades of pinks, purples and oranges. Una, a young mother, walked out onto the plains of her Native American ancestors to meet her daughter. Papina was 11 years old, with a stronger frame than most girls her age, skin more fair than her mother’s, and long, ebony hair that flowed around her as if it held a spirit of its own. She stood watching the plains, wearing a traditional white dress with intricate green beading.
“What are you looking for?” Una asked, following her daughter’s gaze and seeing only the endless golden grass.
“The wind,” Papina replied simply, still watching the plains. Una smiled said softly,
“Do you know what the wind is?” Her daughter looked up at her curiously. “The wind is the spirit that lives in the air.” Una said simply. Papina smiled,
“Oh, I knew that mama, I am going to marry him someday after all” she replied in a confident voice, “I know him very well.” Una, amused by her childish dreams, asked
“What is the wind like?” She did not respond at first, only her hair moved as she thought. When she answered, it was in a voice that was older than she seemed.
“He is a joyful spirit. He loves to play with leaves and make them dance both in the trees and on the earth. When the leaves grow tired he moves to the water and goes swimming; you can always see him coming ashore on the waves. He likes to play with people too. He loves kites; he enjoys trying to pull the person into the sky to test his strength. He also loves going fast, that’s why he is always around cars and roller coasters and when you run really fast. When people play games outside, volleyball and badminton are his favorites; he liked to join in and try to help his team win.
He is also a bit mischievous, he enjoys playing tricks. On days he is feeling like this, he may steal your things like papers and make them dance while you try and catch him. During the night he likes to make spooky sounds, like the moans of ghosts to try and scare you, especially around Halloween. He usually doesn’t mean it though; he just wants to have fun.
“Wind is very passionate too. When he is happy, he has a burst of joy that makes everything around him leap as he laughs. There are also times when he gets angry though. It is hard to make him angry, but when he does it’s not good for whoever angered him. When he loses his temper, he destroys things like branches and houses. Sometimes he can even make cars fly until they crash back into the ground. He is always sorry for it after he calms down, that’s why he always chases away the clouds afterwards, to cheer everyone up.
“That’s what I love most about Wind, he is affectionate. He adores people, and you can always hear his deep laugh in your ears as he cools you down on a hot summer’s day. He gives us life; he kisses our cheeks and wraps us in his embrace, telling us that no matter what is going on in our lives, it will all be ok. That is what the wind is like,” Papina ended suddenly. Una felt warmth in her heart.
“Sounds like he will make a fine husband for you one day,” she said.
Ten years later Una stood on those same plains again as her daughter approached her. Papina stood as strong and beautiful as ever, and she was arm in arm with a man from another tribe whose shoulder length black hair moved with her own. He seemed nervous and jumpy, Papina holding him in one place to sooth him. Una didn’t blame him for his nerves, her own heart fluttered a little.
“So this is the famous Knoton,” she said. The man turned his head and smiled boldly, and broke contact with Papina as he rushed forward to shake her hand.
“It is an honor to meet you,” he said in a rush. Una grinned at the energetic young man. Papina mirrored the same expression.
“Come back my love, we must tell Mama the news,” she said, pulling him back to her.
“What news?” Una asked, tilting her head curiously at the both of them. Her curiosity was soon replaced with pure joy as her daughter lifted her hand to show her a beautiful engagement ring.
“I told you this would happen Mama, in this same spot, all those years ago.” Una was confused now, though the event was far from forgotten.
“When you said you would marry the wind?” The two lovebirds exchanged the glace of being the only ones in on a private joke.
“My name,” he said. “Knoton means Wind.”