The Chinook Is Blowing

Vandalia River

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The Chinook Is Blowing

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There is a moment in late winter when the wind brings warmth, and you know that this time the weather isn’t teasing. The trees are still skeletal, but the new grass glows beneath. The cold is still bitter, but it beats retreat. 

In a favorite children's book, back-to-back blizzards force settlers in a South Dakota town to stay mostly housebound from October to April. School is closed, company is scarce, and supplies are scarcer. After months of being shut in an uninsulated house with a small fire, the protagonist wakes one night to the sound of wind - and another sound she cannot recognize. When she realizes it is water dripping as the snow melts, she jumps out of bed and cries, “The Chinook is blowing!” 

Her father teases her later. “Waking us all from a sound sleep to tell us the wind was blowing! As if the wind hadn’t blown for months!” 

“I said the Chinook,” she replies. “That makes all the difference.” 

This is the moment the new single from Vandalia River is about. But it’s not just about the weather. It’s about the moment you know your hope is not in vain. 

It’s about the moment the miles are behind you and the finish line in sight - the moment the paper is turned in and you know it’s good - the moment the family van pauses at Grandmother’s gate after 15 hours on the road - the moment the baby is born but she’s not in your arms yet - the moment the groom sees the bride but the vows must still be said. The fatigue is still in your bones, but the sight of rest comforts your heart. 

Many of us are longing for a moment like that to come. 

At least we’re no longer waiting for spring. At least it is here now, with all its light and bloom to cheer us along our course. 

“The Chinook Is Blowing” is now available just about anywhere you listen to music. 

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