Saturday, July 10, 2010
A child will fly a kite on a windless day; running back and forth across the lawn over and over again while the flying machine flails rather helplessly behind. I imagine the kite wondering, "for goodness sake, why can't we wait for even the slightest breeze to do this?"
But one day, it clicks. The kite finds purchase in the air and zigzag sprints turn to thoughtful tugs on the line. The kite climbs, and the pilot learns to coax it higher and higher till the string has run out and the spruce and tissue are just a diamond speck in the sky.
There is a purity in the balance of the kite and the pilot.
The kite wants to fly, its pull almost relentless, but without an anchor it will just flutter and drift back to the ground. The forces on each end of the string are strong, but the system is frail.
I watched that frailty in my son last night. In his summer before middle school, he's on the cusp of taking flight on his own. Making decisions, managing consequences, challenging the sky above him. And then all at once, seemingly without warning, crashing down again.
I imagine him looking down from up there and wondering, "for goodness sake, what happened to the people holding the string."
We're here pal. Promise.
image credit http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kite_flying.jpg