A RETURNING WIND is a quirky, heartfelt romp of a novel about a man who has lost his connection with nature and is trying to get it back.
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Books of Gordon Rogowitz
When Noah Dawson reaches his breaking point working for a Boston biotechnology firm, he suffers a nervous breakdown and returns to his home in rural Arizona. As Noah explores Arizona's untouched landscapes on his grandfather's Indian motorcycle, he reflects on his environmental conscience and his family history. He even tries to "tune in" to nature hoping to rekindle the lost ways of the ancient Anasazi Indians. Is he delusional? Isabella, his girlfriend, thinks so. Fortunately, however, Noah will meet a grizzly-bearded pilot (a former Buddhist monk) and he will gain the support of his brother Nathan, veteran of the Iraq War and owner of local bookstore (The Bookworm's Happy Nook). Along the way, he will uncover a few startling insights about the meaning of trust, community, and nature-based spirituality. ISBN: 978-1-4657-1472-5
CHAPTER 1: The Bookworm’s Happy Nook
Mile-high Oreville, situated on the forested hilltop overlooking Elkwood, had once been a flourishing mining town. In the early 1900s carloads of gold and silver had been harvested from the Lil’ Beaut’ Mine, but by the early 1950s the ore had been depleted and Oreville had become a ghost town. It had remained that way until the early sixties, when a few laid-back hippies and leather-clad bikers decided it was “high time” to revive the historic town. Nathan’s bookstore, The Bookworm’s Happy Nook, was situated in one of the red brick buildings in the center of Oreville. It was impossible to miss the sign: a pale green bookworm with huge buggy eyes and a whimsical smile peering out from the pages of an ancient leather-bound book. The expression on its face seemed to be saying, Come on in. The books taste great here!
Nathan, a burly man with the Marine maxim Semper Fi—always faithful—tattooed on his left arm and a floating pyramid tattooed on his right arm was a local attraction in Oreville. Everybody who knew him loved him. People often came into the bookstore just to talk with him. He’d sit on his throne—a bench of maroon-colored cushions at the front of the bookstore—and greet them with a genuine smile. His was the perfect job for somebody who couldn’t move too fast. He was twenty pounds overweight and had an artificial leg. The lower portion of his left leg had been blown off by a mortar shell during the Iraq War. “Oh that,” he’d chuckle if anyone asked about it. “Why that’s just temporary! Yeah, they’re flying me out to the V.A. hospital to give me a new one…just as soon as they get the paperwork done! You know how that goes.”
Nathan’s bookstore was overflowing with “recycled books,” a term he preferred to “used books.” The shelves were filled with mystery and adventure, but also included titles on religion and philosophy that catered to the esoteric tastes of some of the locals. Books were in piles everywhere, so much so that navigation was difficult—even for people with two good legs.
On that afternoon, Bill Leverett, one of Nathan’s regular customers, was in the bookstore. A tall, bearded man with small, penetrating eyes, Bill was a pilot who made a living the monitoring power lines for the power company. The work required flying his Piper at low altitudes and was especially dangerous on windy days, but Bill was an exceptionally good pilot, one who could handle nearly any situation, so long as he didn’t drink too much—which, unfortunately, was not always the case. Bill was leaning against one of the wooden bookshelves flipping through a copy of the Upanishads that had recently reappeared in the stacks. George Mayer, a retired stock analyst from New York, had read the book and enjoyed the commentary on multiplicity and oneness and returned it to the bookstore assuming that somebody else might like to read it.
“This is it!” Bill exclaimed after scanning the book, “the essential philosophy.”
Nathan nodded absentmindedly.
People who didn’t know Bill were inclined to assume that he was an old fool who drank too much. Indeed, if anyone had told him, “Bill, you’re an old fool,” he likely would have agreed. But there was more to Bill than most people knew. He’d spent six years of his life living as a Buddhist monk in India—he didn’t regret it. He also had a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Comparative Religion—sometimes he regretted that. Bill gave the impression of being an old hippy who hadn’t quite graduated from the sixties. He certainly looked the part with his scraggly beard and baggy clothes. And Bill...