Thursday, December 17, 2015

Kites - A Family Tradition

This is me on November 11th, 1957 taking my first solo kite flight at Riis Park in Queens, New York. My Dad had the day off, back then it was a holiday that really meant something. The whole family went down to the beach, and though it was freezing, it is one of the warmest and earliest memories of my life. As you get older you want to pass on some of these memories, sometimes without success. But with kite flying it's just about a sure thing that you are going to capture the heart and mind of the one you're with.

Here I am, over 3 decades later, with my own daughter, an experienced kite flier by age 10, setting up on Myrtle Beach in 1998. The winds there are fantastic in the evenings. It was one of the most gratifying feelings to pass on my love of kiting to my daughter. She still kites, periodically, today. She still feels that connection to the earth as it whirls around and the wind as it whistles eerily through the string.

This is me yesterday, with my grandaughter Aliyah, showing her the ropes on a nylon rip stop box kite that hauls 80 MPH winds. We were only bucking gusts of 15 MPH or so. The look on her face changed from concern to joy as the kite took off and stayed aloft. This is the way the world feels when it turns, The kite helps you feel that connection. The drag on the line is surely caused by the spinning of the earth. I know this to be true because my Dad told me so, as his dad had told him.

So here she is, my grandaughter Aliyah, flying solo. Another tradition passed on. Hopefully she will remember the moment and pass it on to her children some day. Then her children will feel the turning of the earth through the pull of the wind on the kite and hear the sound of the wind whistling through the string. And maybe, just maybe, she will tell them of the moment we first flew together. I'd really like that.

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