By Carmelene Melanie Siani
“Look!” David exclaimed.
Up in the air in front of us was a huge multi-colored bird swooping and soaring in the wind. Was it some kind of sea bird? Was it even real? No! It was a kite. A big, beautiful bird kite that twisted and dipped and “flew” in the sky above.
My husband and I had gone to a small national park overlooking the beach to soak in the beauty of the ocean, the hills covered with wild flowers and the blue skies. The breezes were steady but calm. The views from the cliffs were exhilarating.
As we came round the corner on the path, we saw a small clearing with people standing around and sitting on benches watching a man balance and dance, and hold in his outstretched arms the strings controlling the movements of the kite.
On either side of him, watching and listening intently while he gave instructions, were two young boys who looked just like him.
David and I stopped and watched for several moments. Just as we turned to go on our way, I heard a collective “Oh!” The kite had gotten stuck on a branch of some kind of scrabbly hillside bush.
People nodded reassuringly to each other, “He’ll get it out.”
They pointed upwards.
They told how it happened and explained it to their children, “No, honey, don’t worry. The kite will fly again.”
There was a shared concern over the fate of the kite.
The crowd was as multi-colored as the kite. People with white hair, people with dark skin, with golden skin, women in saris, men in turbans, children with bare legs and babies in strollers; all were watching together while the scene of the kite unfolded.
The man who flew the kite climbed up the 20 or 30 feet to the top of the hillside where it was dangling precariously; one branch of the bush refusing to let go of the kite’s tail. In a daring moment, the man reached and freed the kite and—with one of the boys still holding its strings—it caught the breeze in a great soaring loop that took it upward and upward into the blue.
All around me people broke into applause.
I got into the car feeling elated. The moment of the kite was a fabulous teaching moment from everyday life. It was a moment of oneness. A tiny moment when differences in skin tone or headdress or language didn’t matter.
What mattered was the California hillside, the Pacific Ocean, the blue skies and a kite—a magic bird kite, which had been set free and took everyone’s spirits with it as it rose into the beauty that surrounded us.
Editor: Alicia Wozniak