GO FLY A KITE!!!
There are some things that make even the hardiest of souls flinch when they think of attempting them alone, and I must confess that there was a time in my life when I was more timid about being out in public places without an escort. However, with age I’ve become comfortable with who I am, and I have no trouble going for a walk, dining in a full service restaurant, or exercising at the gym unaccompanied. Though I am blessed with many friends with whom to go shopping, I do not mind going by myself. I’ve noticed that, on those rare occasions that I must visit the supermarket at unusually late hours, the place almost always has a couple of men or women who, judging by the items that they place onto the conveyor belt at check-out, undoubtedly live alone. Their covert glances, and the quick movements away to avoid eye contact belie the fact that they are uncomfortable buying their groceries by themselves, and I cannot help but feel a small twinge of pity for them.
Being alone does not have to mean being lonely. As a matter of fact, because I spend so much of my time working with people in my day to day job, I will admit that I relish the occasional solo outing. Inevitably, though, whether I am dining out, pumping gas, or at the gym, I will invariably find myself making a new “friend”, as I seldom meet a stranger. I understand that not everyone has an outgoing personality, nor do they desire to have that trait. And even I find myself balking at attending Church or going to a movie at the theater all by myself.
This evening, I decided to go for an impromptu walk. I set out alone, quite happy to have some time to reflect on recent events, to meditate, to offer prayers heavenward and just enjoy the soft summer wind breathing its breath upon my cheeks.
As I started the trek up the hill behind my place, I saw a kite wafting lazily in the evening breeze, suspended in a surreal manner above the green space adjacent to the play ground. Hearing the laughter of children and getting to see them enjoy themselves always makes me happy, & I expectantly looked forward to topping the hill in order that I could see the child or children who would most certainly be found frolicking beneath the kite dancing on the night air. But as I drew closer, I realized that there was no child present, but only a single, adult lady controlling the kite’s flight. I scanned the area surrounding her, thinking that her son or daughter must be there – somewhere – but was unable to spot anyone. Interesting, I thought, as I made my way on past her and set out for a short walk.
As I made my way back again, I once again saw the multi-colored contraption, and once again, I saw the single lady holding the handle below the string that was attached to the kite. I stopped for a moment, and watched, as she, with a soft smile on her face, slowly walked back and forth, with her eyes all the while on her kite. I was mesmerized with the idea that an adult would actually go out and fly a kite all alone, unaccompanied by a romantic date or children. She seemed at peace with herself, and with her situation, and though I did not approach her nor attempt to speak to her, I surmised that she was having fun entertaining herself. I contemplated why society has moulded us in such a manner as to make it appear to be odd or unusual to do certain things by oneself.
I thought about the times in the past when, on glorious, blue sky, breeze-filled Spring days I had wished my grown children were young enough to want to enjoy the simple art of flying a kite with me as they had done when they were little kids. I recalled how, not having anyone to fly a kite with, I just abandoned the idea altogether. But as I watched this lady, so comfortable with her task, I decided that I shall add kite-flying to my list of things that I am comfortable doing all alone. The next time I get the urge, should I not find a companion willing to accompany me, I shall, like the woman from my neighborhood, go out by myself, and, finding my own peace, fly my own kite.
Is there something that you wish that you were not uncomfortable doing by yourself? If so, what is it? There is a whole world out there waiting for you to reach out and enjoy the simple pleasures that it offers. Some things are indeed, much more fun to do with a friend, a lover, or a family member. But if none of them is available, or ready, willing and able to catch a summer’s breeze with you, step out and do it anyway. There is no shame in being alone. And let’s face it, there are only so many evenings each year when the weather is perfect for flying a kite. Besides, you might just find yourself, like the serene lady I encountered, caught up in a moment all your own, smiling contentedly at your feat, or like me, a silent observer, caught up in a moment all my own, and smiling, just as contentedly, at the scene. The next time you feel like it, GO FLY A KITE!!!