Like Kites Turning Toward the Wind

Start at the house I grew up in. Head across the bridge. Go about a mile into town. And you'll be at the boulevard. It's a five kilometer loop around a little cove that feeds into a bigger bay that feeds into the very big Atlantic.

Often, you'll see kites flying alongside the boulevard. Diamond-shaped, dragon-shaped, long-tailed and short-tailed, flying on a single-string or many, many, many strings.

They start as dormant, airless heaps on the grass. And it's a bit unbelievable, but all it takes is a little wind under them and they are off. Rising and rising and rising until they've reached their full wingspan up in the high air.

And up there, the kites are elated and powerful and unbridled, too, like they'd broken out of a holding pen or shed a great weight.

But it's not just wind under them. Kites need wind coming at them to really fly. "Kites rise against, and not with, the wind," author John Neal said.

I think about this. When the wind and the opposition, the unanticipated, the unasked-for is coming at me.

This might be a chance, I think. Not to stoop over into some dormant, airless heap. But to turn towards the wind and rise and rise and rise until you're at full wingspan, using it all from wingtip to wingtip.

So, start at the house I grew up in, head across the bridge, and when you're just under a mile into town, you'll see the kites. The highest flying ones.

The ones that have turned towards the wind, believing that they can rise into it. Which they do.

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Growing GrittierCaitie Whelan