Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: The New UU: A Program for Welcoming Newcomers to Unitarian Universalist Congregations

The Wind in Both Ears

Part of The New UU

"The Wind in Both Ears," by Angus MacLean, in The Wind in Both Ears (Boston: Beacon Press, 1965).

Introduce the story by explaining that the author, Angus MacLean was a Universalist, a professor of religious education, and dean of the Theological School at St. Lawrence University. His influence included a call for religious education to be relevant, to address problems in the world, and to support the family as the prime source of religious education. Read the story aloud, asking the questions included in the text.

My father sent me up from the root cellar to see about the wind. He was rechecking the winter's potatoes to remove all signs of rot and was planning on setting out nets for some fresh cod later on. Was there a steady breeze, he wanted to know. Yes, there was. "Now face it," he said, "so that the wind sings in both your ears. Then tell me where your nose points to."

[Ask, "What do you learn by figuring out where the wind sings in both ears? How is that a metaphor for finding direction in life?"]

... .We wonder about truth, about all the whats and whys and whithers of life. Wondering is very important, but it should bear the fruits of faith and thought, and it should turn our faces to whatever is coming down the winds of time and circumstance. We should be finding ourselves on the highway to the realization of great human goals, but here is no clear light on the highway except as an individual may see it for himself [sic].

[Ask, "How has wondering borne fruit in your religious and spiritual life?"]

... What is it that's coming down the wind to meet us? We have decided to make do with an orientation in this life, and all that lies between us and life's exits calls for courage, thought, and imagination, and active concern...

... Anyway, let's keep the wind singing in both ears, and pray for the courage to interpret and act upon what it brings to us.