Solana Beach, CA
It is Labor Day. An impudent breeze is ushering out summer and welcoming football season. The winds of change shift to different compass points and we reorient ourselves from lazy dog days of summer to working like a dog. Honestly, if any of our pets were role models, it’s not a particularly aggressive work ethic.
Work is a lot like the wind. We gust with short bursts of high speed energy to complete some tasks while other projects require the sustained power of a gale that blows for days. There are those mind numbing jobs that catch us in irons, like a sailboat pointed directly into the wind. Lots of noise, sails slapping, slamming into waves, but no forward motion. You’re just stuck in the wind. I’d rather not think about work on this national celebration of a day off. It’s more fun to think about a simple way to play with the wind. Go fly a kite. It an easy way to kiss the sky while grounded to Terra Firma.
Kites are simple toys – no batteries required – just a kite, a tail, and a long, really long, piece of line. Kites are tethered aircraft. Sky high they fly while connected to the earth by a thin line to the kite flyer. Kite flying is an empowering pastime because it encourages imaginations to slip the straps of reality – so powerful that when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, kite flying was outlawed. Relax, here it’s as legal as medicinal pot in Denver.
I realized during an eastbound Southwest Airlines flight bouncing through turbulence above the Rockies that airline passengers are tethered souls. We are linked by heart strings to family and friends six miles below our fastened seat belts.
Two weeks later; aboard S/v Ex Libris, Sioux Harbor, MO
The Voyager 1 spacecraft has exited our solar system after a 36 year trek with no high tech entertainment aboard other than an 8 track tape-recorder endlessly looping the song “all by myself – just wanna be all by myself”. It is in a free fall through the galaxy – with over 31 million miles of look backs and multiple universes ahead. Voyager was launched the same year as the Star Wars franchise – that both continue to thrive is an assurance that old missions can still do exciting things – as can a graying kite flyer who stands grinning aside her four year old grand daughter who grasps the string and shrieks, “It’s up!”
Simple moments, a fresh breeze, a destination unknown, sometimes feeling connected to another generation – and the skies above – I feel like a kite.