“Wild nights are my glory”
- Mrs. Whatsit, A Wrinkle in Time
That quote struck a chord in me as a child, and stays with me still to this day. If you don’t know the book, first let me say, “Go read it!” Mrs. Whatsit is an entertaining creature that Meg (the book’s protagonist) mistakes for some sort of homeless tramp. I often envisioned her as a nearly vomitous burst of colors and smells that is both alluring and off-putting at the same time. By today's adults, women fitting that description are often passed by, dismissed or overlooked. But like a child full of wonder, I would like to think that if I discovered her today, I would have the insight to find her as fascinating and enticing as Meg and her younger brother Charles Wallace do.
There are three such magical women who aid the children in their travels, Mrs. Whatsit being the youngest and most verbal. Perhaps I connected with her for that reason alone, although I think more that it had more to do with her transformation. Mid-book (and I don’t mean to be a spoiler, but hey…it’s my blog) Mrs. Whatsit turns into a beautiful centaur-like creature. Now being Sagittarius, I felt some sort of bond with her equine form, and dreamt of shimmering into such a shape. The cover art showed iridescent rainbow wings spreading out where arms might be, and in that corporeal body, she rides the children up, out of the atmosphere, for a “bigger picture” of the Universe & the endless battle of Dark vs. Light.
Last night, as the unusually strong winds whipped past windows and shook the apartment, I did what I often do in windstorms. I closed my eyes and pictured the great Mrs W spreading those glowing wings, facing a fierce headwind, then with a leap, sending herself bucking and blowing across a star-filled sky. I imagine her laughing loudly and robustly, reveling in the whirling torrent. I dream of her riding unharnessed wind and rejoicing in the wildness of night. And I wish, once again, that I was her.