Monday, July 13, 2015



Yesterday, I walked along a beach by the lake.

The day was hot, and after only a short time, I felt as if I had trudged a hundred miles, my thoughts carrying a suitcase full of tears. Out by the water’s edge, the merciless sun crushed my body, and the hot sand ripped the strength from staggering legs.

I looked across the water to where a ship steamed towards the Atlantic and watched it disappear in the haze. My dull, lazy eyes blinked in the intensity of the light that flared back at me from the mirror of still water.

Ahead of me, two young boys struggled with the string of a kite that dipped and dived above them in the currents of the day’s hot breeze. I watched their determined bodies twist and turn as they struggled to run into the wind. The kite, red and white, and radiant in the sun, confounded their efforts, rose to a pandemonium of joyful shrieks, only to crash like a spike into the sand. The two would drop their arms in anguish and race back to the kite, check it for wounds, and then reset the process. One held the string and began his run, while the other tossed the kite heavenwards. Again, a brief incline towards the ragged clouds and then, as if decreed by the fates, a sharp plummet to ground.

I stopped to watch this reiterated failure of flight. Words of encouragement formed in my thoughts, but evaporated before they became audible puffs of sound escaping my lips. Instead, I stood there silently, watching, and inwardly willing that kite into the air. It rose and fell, rose and fell, until finally, it caught a cooling updraft of air and was aloft. It soared in endless pirouettes and seemed to dance effortlessly above its astonished pilots who laughed and fell all over one another with excitement.

As my eyes followed this dizzying aerial ballet, a wry smile cracked lines into my wet cheeks, and then I was laughing too.

I sat in the sand, relaxed and consumed by the moment, and I realised that the constancy of the human spirit is not so different from the flight of a red and white, radiant kite.



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