“Catch the Wind” is a song written and recorded by British singer-songwriter Donovan, released as a single in the United Kingdom on March 12, 1965, through Pye Records. It reached No. 4 in the United Kingdom singles chart and No. 23 on the United States Billboard Hot 100. In 1965 I was refusing to accept any role in the slaughter of Americans and Vietnamese people. It was a time of fear, friends, and music. There was a struggle for sanity that followed me throughout my life and on some level, continues today, and it has taken its toll.
Years later, circa 1973, I was sitting in a bus station in St Petersburg, Florida, waiting for a ride that would take me back to Washington, D.C. Bus stations are curious places full of curious people, and I have spent more than my fair share of time in them. I had a long wait for my ride home, and I sat there listening to the public-address system announce departures for places in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, New York, and all points north, south, east, and west. I watched as people broke into a full gallop to get to one loading area or another, all desperately trying to outrun time in a great hurry to get to the next place in their future or to escape the place they had just been. I was also anxious to be getting on with the getting on of it when this old gentleman in old clothes with an old beard and tired eyes sat down on a bench not far from me. For a long time we both sat in silence and listened to the speakers calling out the departing and arriving of steel and flesh when he looked over at me and said with a bit of a sigh and some bewilderment at the scene unfolding before us, “I’m not going anywhere myself. I’m just resting.”
People tell me that I have an issue with being in the moment. I always seem to be trying to outguess the past or fool the future. It’s a little like New England weather: We are either waiting for it to get better or expecting it to get worse. I used to wish the days away when the cold gray sky and bitter winds brought only early sunsets. But when the trees begin to blossom and the creeks and rivers begin to run free and the maple syrup flows, there is no place else I want to be.
In the last two months, I have literally brought myself to a screeching halt (maybe I should say screeching and screaming). I don’t stop easily. Then I realized that as Donovan sang, I can’t catch the wind, and in so many ways, despite my running, I am still sitting in that St. Petersburg bus station, but now, suddenly, I’m the old man not going anywhere. I’m just resting.