posted by dave on Sunday, July 17, 2005 at 1:27 AM in category ramblings

One time when I was a kid - I have no idea how old - somebody (probably my grandfather) must have told us to go fly a kite, because that's exactly what we did.

My cousins Jeff and Chris, and maybe my sister Dina, all gathered in this little field next to my grandmother's house and we somehow managed to get this one kite flying so high that we could barely see it. As this was our first real kite-flying experience we'd messed something up, and we had the kite string running under this power line.

So the higher the kite went, the tighter the string was pulled against the power line. It was only a matter of time, we all knew, before that string was going to break.

Eventually, of course, it did break. The reel in my hands lost its connection with the kite, the string fell to the ground, and we all looked up. To see what was happening to the kite.

It fell to the ground. What else was it going to do, fly to the Moon? Of course it fell.

But not for a couple of seconds.

When that string broke, when its connection with the Earth had been severed, that kite leapt skyward. Spinning and dancing in the air far above our heads, the kite gained altitude. It actually seemed to be alive. Alive and free. For the first, and as it turned out, last time in its existence.

The kite did, after a few glorious seconds of freedom, fall to the ground, and eventually we walked to retrieve it. What was left of it anyway. Its wooden bones shattered, its paper wings torn and ragged, it was a pretty poor remnant of what it had once been. I don't think we even bothered to pick it up. We just left it there to rot in that field.

So anyway, I've been in a fairly unusual mood tonight, and I've had a tough time coming up with a good description of what it is I'm feeling. I was reminded of the kite by something I saw on TV, and I realized that I'd found the perfect metaphor to describe what's going through my head tonight.

I feel like that kite would have felt, just after its string had broken. Pretty sure that a fall was coming, but still doing my best to enjoy that which I'd just been granted. No longer bound to anything. Spinning and dancing. Relishing the freedom.

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