Drift

Drift: the act of being driven, singly, into group energy in the lee-side of a driving force (a driving wind, for example). Examples are the groups of sheep that form in the lee side of hills in storm or the snow that packs down in the same locations. Drift is a passive force that accumulates in the lee side of active, driving energy, in the way the current of a stream entering a pool will curl back upon itself, creating one still spot in the midst of turbulence where trout will rise to take a fly. When a driving force is removed and replaced by gentler, more even forces (such as the sun), the drift will linger for a time but will soon forget its shape and dissolve as if it never were. Sheep, for example, will leave their shelter and drift across the grass for a time, still congregating in response to a now-absent force, until they are eventually randomly scattered across it. Snow drifts will melt and flow away as streams and currents, before soaking into the soil or emptying into lakes or seas, where fish no longer congregate at the still point of currents but swim free of constraint until the artificial drift of a drift net accumulates them into a catch.

All night the ship drifted to the east.

P1290197Snowdrift, Hófstaðir, Ísland

 

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