In response to Word High July the snippet below is inspired by the Filipino word ‘amihan’ or ‘northest wind’. It’s part of a series charting the impact of the discovery of intelligent life in space on five ordinary people over the course of a month. Enjoy!

Image taken from Buzzfeed: “36 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The Philippine Language”. All credits goes to them.


The wind running through the chimes sent them in a whirl of music, at the pitch Irene had been attempting to recreate in her studio with little success for hours. And wasn’t that just the lesson of the day? When you decide nothing will do but the sound of a genuine wind chime, go record them in the actual damned wind.

Her beaten up kangaroo weathervane swung sharply towards the north; trade winds blowing in her father used to call it. Although she doubted a northeast wind would be that helpful in the southern hemisphere. The chimes were caught again but in a clashing spiral, the soft breeze whipping into the kind of frenzy that happened before a storm.

Chewing at her lip, Irene considered the recording equipment. The chimes were just right, exactly what the sound needed to meet the set of word prompts Jo had sent through. But maybe she was missing something, maybe a good storm would be the next piece of the puzzle. She hung the chimes back over her front door as she mulled the idea over, a pang in her chest at thought that Adam would have been able to offer her the guidance she required. He’d always been better at emotive composition.

A fat raindrop landed at Irene’s feet, making up her mind. She gathered the recording equipment and headed through her house and onto the covered veranda at the back. Already the wind had bent the gum trees in her garden nearly in half as the storm rolled in on the back of heavy black clouds; rain drops falling first in twos and threes until the heavens opened and the downpour started in earnest. It sounded like drums, like rhythm and life.

Irene hurried to get the microphone out and set it up on the patio table, but the wind was fierce and the stand fell. After struggling for a few more moments she gave in and sat, microphone in hand, and watched as the storm raged around her. Whatever recording she made, it was going in the music now come hell or high water.


7 thoughts on “Amihan

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