Home » Gate Guarding » Year in Review Part 14 – A Night With Darth Vader

Year in Review Part 14 – A Night With Darth Vader

It’s been 8 months since I wrote this post early last May. Sadly, the wildfires did come to Texas and even with the rain, we’ve begun 2012 in a drought. The wind is whipping again tonight reminding me of the night Darth Vader came to Smiley.
Way out here they have a name for wind and rain and fire
The rain is Tes,
the fire’s Joe,
and they call the wind Mariah

Mariah blows the stars around,
sets the clouds a’flyin’
Mariah makes the mountain sound
like folks was up there dyin’
There’s hasn’t been any sign of Tes for more than four months which is an invitation we all pray Joe continues to refuse. Mariah doesn’t need an invitation.
She’s a permanent resident.
If you Paint Your Own Wagon, you may Call the Wind Mariah.
Here in southern Texas, we just call her Fierce.
The wind is relentless in the flat lands, howling night and day.

The substance of the winds is too thin for human eyes…  ~John Muir

John Muir, the famous naturalist, clearly didn’t spend a lot of time in Texas. In Texas you can see the wind.

I used to think dirt devils were vacuum cleaners. Now I know they’re day time apparitions in the southern Texas sky. They swirl like mini-tornadoes, hiding only when I grab the camera.

With the temperature creeping up to almost 100 today, all who passed through the gate ate grit when they opened their windows. By night fall, everyone was wind whipped and weary.

The gate finally slowed down as midnight approached. As I reach for my coffee, one soft light flickers to the rhythmic beating of the wind. I turn the page. The RV sways like a doll’s house.

The empty over-stuffed chair begins to rock on its own. I can see the whites of Henry’s eyes.

The bell rings and my arm nearly flies off with the door as the wind races in. I step outside. No one’s there.

Henry’s ears stand straight up. I open the shades and turn off the flickering lamp. As I scoop up Henry, I hear the distinctive breathing in the dark. On this moonless night, Darth Vader has slipped into my living room.



I slowly reach behind me and flip the light back on. The wind continues to cry through the door and the RV feels like a small ship on a rough sea. Henry remains on high alert.  I can’t see the invader.

I pick up my dropped book and read several chapters, tension building. Suddenly the wind stops completely. The dramatic stillness is eerie.

Then, he breathes again. This time I look up in time to see him. His raspy breath seeps out of the dredges of my coffee pot. I turn it off. He emits one final sigh and moan.

Darth Vader returns to his alternate universe just as the wind picks up, once again rattling the windows and beating at the door.


One thought on “Year in Review Part 14 – A Night With Darth Vader

  1. Were you reading Star Wars, or did some big old monster come to breath at your door ;-).

    Sounds like scary wind. Henry’s a trooper. Nothing worse than gritty teeth. I hate that.
    xox m

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