Go Fly a Kite…

My daughter likes to tell her friends of my affinity for flying kites.  For some reason kite flying hasn’t transcended to my next generation.  Our kids will come outside and see me flying a kite and give the look; you know what look I’m referring to, that look teenagers give parents when they seem to enjoy themselves.  Parents should know better than to try and have fun.

I had a favorite kite shop located in a back alley in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  Each time I visited the city I made sure to stop by and pick up something new and extraordinary.  The shop owner was a small gentle man who loved to talk about kites.  We hit it off famously.

I had this one kite, rather large compared to most others, that when assembled made quite a display against the background of the sky.  Besides its bright plumage it also had eight lengths of brightly colored fabric trailing its magnificent flight.  These tails were over 20 feet long so when this kite took flight, people noticed the swatch of flying artwork.  As a person who likes to make a spectacle, this was the perfect opportunity.

The downside to such a kite was the amount of wind it took to get it aloft.  Gentle gusts would do nothing but see me drag the kite helplessly about trying to find the perfect direction of the brief wind being blown.  Getting this kite up would be reserved for special occasions and waiting was not my forte.

Then came the hurricane.

Most people who’ve experienced a hurricane will tell you they are destructive events that disrupt daily living for extended periods.  Having been through a few I thought flying my kite  may be the welcome break my neighbors and I needed.   After all the prepping for the storm all one does it sit and wait for the storm to come.  Knowing its coming and having nothing to do but sit and wait to get pounded effects one mental make-up.

So I thought the best way to fight back against the big blowhard was to use the advancing winds to get my albatross of a kite up in the air.  Neighbors peered out their windows as I dragged the beast outside ready for flight.  As soon as she went up, and boy did she go up fast, my neighbors came out in droves to share the moment.  There we stood staring at all this color pulling against this long string and watching this dance of simplicity.

It wasn’t long before the storm got too strong and eventually snapped my string before I could return the kite to earth.  I watched the kite sail away like a balloon towards heaven.  Then I looked and found the same sadness in the eyes of my neighbors.

A common event.  A common emotion.  A common time to reflect together on life.  That is what community is all about.

When everyone came to their senses they scattered like roaches in daylight when they remembered the incoming hurricane.  Real danger loomed.

Enjoyment doesn’t always have to be complicated.  Sometimes it’s so very simple.  Like flying a kite.

Lesson:  Know the difference between fun and danger.  You might end up saving your kite.

It was fun while it lasted.



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