Creating a simple life can be complicated. “Enjoy the simple pleasures,” is a common phrase encouraging us to cut out the excess, yet knowing what to purge from our days can be baffling. Taking time to play a little each day helps me to weed out the superfluous activities that swallow up my time. Sometimes I just want to fly a kite.
“Go fly a kite!” That was what we said in the 80s when someone was irritating us or said something offensive. Today’s version of telling someone to get lost is much more colorful, yet more dull than the image of a diamond-shaped kite waving from the clouds.
As a kid I never acquired the knack—or the correct timing to get mine sailing. Seems on windy days, I was unprepared—my kite tucked in my closet with no string to be found, but give me a day that was so still the leaves barely moved and there I’d be, standing on some field, my limp kite by my side as if it was broken or too afraid to leave my side.
Flying a kite sounded so simple, but like so many “Simple” concepts, the actual exercise was much more challenging than it sounded. For a few seconds, my multi-colored sky-skimmer would saddle a breeze and pull heavenward, my heart in my throat and rising with it. I could never maintain the resistance to keep us both soaring for more than those precious moments that both irritated and inspired me.
Kite-flying required a skill I didn’t have—a knack for catching the wind like a surfer catches a wave. I still want to fly that kite, but I usually settle for watching someone else fly theirs. I even secretly cheer them on. I enjoy watching the kaleidoscope of twisting tails flapping on the current that evaded me when I was the one at the end of the string.
I watch, a bit disappointed that the spectacle isn’t maneuvered by my hands, but I know the one who blows the winds and rains sees my hope that someday I will again get the nerve to try. Someday, He will send a tsunami of opportunity my way and I will surf with the eagles. In the meantime, I blow off a few self-imposed responsibilities, and head to the beach for my playtime.
Along the Atlantic, I can bathe with the sea gulls, my spirits lifting with each high tide. The salt water will cleanse yucky feelings that have built up and preserve the surge of inspiration accumulating with each wave.
I will run in the sand, my hopes flying higher than any kite ever could.
Michele Zirkle Marcum is a native of Meigs County, author of “Rain No Evil” and host of Life Speaks on AIR radio. Access more at soundcloud.com\lifespeaks.