Mattson Weyl fiction - aaduna in exile spring 2021 issue, Vol. 10 No. 1


Elizabeth Anne-Mattson Weyl (photo provided)

Elizabeth Anne-Mattson Weyl known to aaduna as Beth Mattson is a mother, writer, teacher, gardener, and protester living in the Driftless region of Wisconsin.


The God of Wind 

You’re drawing gods wrong. I am not a smiling, floating, apple-cheeked swirl of clouds, beaming down over my ample bosom of spiraling cirrocumulus nipples, in the shape of a curvy ape with a full face. I am Wind. The god of clouds is just Clouds. No cartoons. The god of trees is Trees. They always resist my pushing.

I am not some bulldozer blade, slamming and sticking. I wrap and twist myself, splitting more than the trees, winding and cupping their thick stems, lifting them up for a better view than when they slouch, heavy and tired. Pine, spruce, cedar, and juniper remember being young seedlings. Always green, they sway with me, pliable even when they are ancient. Walnut, oak, birch, and maple cower and groan, hunkering down, looking at their feet.

“Stop. Stop,” growls Trees. “Go away.”

“I cannot do that,” I yell. “You know that I will not do that.”

“Stop. Stop,” Trees growls again. “Go away.”

“I don’t want to do that!”

I blanket the dry redwoods in rolling fog that will not burn away in even the most intense afternoon Sunshine of July beating down on Pacific waves. Pacific laughs with me.

“What heights,” they spray. “A ride better than the moon.”

Thirsty, grateful redwoods drink from us.

“Don’t. Don’t,” Trees whines, grabbing at Soil, which tickles and loosens around their roots. “Don’t.”

I pelt acorns down hard enough that they roll to unlikely and perfect places to sit and seed. I whip cones even farther. Prairie Grasses whoop and cheer to see their progeny fly free farther than a deer or an elk can carry itchy burrs. Mushrooms sigh, release, turn themselves inside out with pleasure.

“Go, go,” Fungi whispers. “Freedom. That feels so good. Don’t stop. Not ever.”

“Stop. Stop,” Trees creak.

“Are you crying?” I break an oak branch and watch it tumble into a dead cherry, taking them both down.

“You’re hurting me.” Trees is crying.

“That branch and that trunk were both dead, Trees. And that maple and that apple, there: they are hungry. How will you feed them if not with fodder from your own limbs? You need to learn to let go.”

“You didn’t need to take those. Not yet,” they whine.

“If I don’t take them down now, Snow will just break them later, freeze them, make sure you can’t eat them before winter.”

“Stop. Stop. I want all of my leaves,” Trees whine. “I can suck more nutrients out of those before you blow them away.”

“No, you can’t.” I tuck the loose edges of the forest floor litter in snuggly where I catch. “They’re all brown and crispy. Ready to go. Don’t be so greedy.”

Some god chuckles, rumbles low and slow. It is Rocks.

“Ha,” Rocks chortles in their core. “Trees? Wasn’t it just spring when you were telling me all about how fast you can move across me? Ha.”

“Come on, Trees,” I hug and I tug. “Dance with me! Wasn’t that the whole point of lignin? Stand up and dance with me!”

“I will never forgive you for the carboniferous,” Trees weep.

Sap oozes from stumps.

“Dance,” I shout. “It feels good!”


I am cool and refreshing and bringing relief from the north. Fire leaps with me. I carry Rain, Clouds, Snow, and Dust. Bulbs deep within Soil begin their rebirth. Goats smile as I ruffle the fur on careful hooves. Fish jump. Animals grow fat, curly, and sleepy. I’ll be back from the south in the spring. I will whisper in the summer as well, and massage the big Ice flattening and giving Rock a ride. Doors slam, windows rattle, balloons rise and pop and sink again. Boats race, flip, and disappear.

“Please,” Trees beg. “You’ve done enough. You’re just playing with life now.”

“What’s life,” I ask.

“You wouldn’t understand,” Trees hiss.

“Yes, I do,” I snicker.

Bees and Mosquitos don’t pay for their tickets on the train. Birds climb on top of me, clawing and scrambling everyday of their lives. Mothers love the looks of their cherub’s fluffy snowsuits across warm, plump bellies. Grandmothers cast the most powerful spells into the head coverings that sit on top of hair. It is so cute the way those little wisps trace and frame smiling faces on a picnic near the beach.

“It is high tide,” churns Atlantic.

“Yes, I know,” I say.

I nudge a little, yellow crocheted hat over high, hanging Rocks, and down onto Sand, easy as an autumn leaf. And then the bouncing red Plastic globe. An untied bootie. There, the wispy hair again, across the forehead, so dainty, kissed now by Waves. Apes cries. Fish eats. Soil clutches at sediment. Rock rolls. I blow on. There, a sail.


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