Every year my family and I go to Sanibel Island. And one of the activities or traditions we partake in is to fly kites. Every year we try to get our kite to higher than the year before. We measure this by how many spools of kite string we tie together as the kite keeps going higher. The beach is a great place for flying kites, plenty of wind and really “the sky’s the limit”. We buy a new kite every year, multicolored creations of varying shapes and sizes that fill the skies like beautiful birds darting and dancing in the heady atmosphere above the earth. As the strong winds gusted against the kites, our kite string kept them in check.
Instead of blowing away with the wind, they rise against it to achieve great heights. They shake and pull, but the restraining string and the cumbersome tail kept them in tow, facing upward and against the wind, balanced. As the kites struggle and tremble against the string, they seemed to say, “Let me go! Let me go! I want to be free!” They soar beautifully even as they fought the imposed restriction of the string. Finally, one of the kites succeeded in breaking loose. I think we didn’t tie one of the reels tight enough. “Free at last” it seemed to say. “Free to fly with the wind.”
Dylan said, “oh no Dad, it’s going to fly way up high and we will never see it again”.
Arielle, all knowing and wise at 11 years old, said, “don’t be stupid Dylan, it’s gonna crash”.
Arielle was right of course, freedom from restraint simply put it at the mercy of an unsympathetic breeze. It fluttered ungracefully to the ground and landed in a tangled mass of weeds and string against a dead bush. “Free at last” meant free to lie powerless in the dirt, to be blown helplessly along the ground, and to lodge lifeless against the first obstruction.
How much like kites we sometimes are. Life and work gives us adversity and restrictions, rules to follow from which we can grow and gain strength. Restraint is a necessary counterpart to the winds of opposition. Some of us tug at the rules so hard that we never soar to reach the heights we might have obtained. We keep fighting the kite string, knowing we are better without restrictions, knowing that these restrictions are keeping us from soaring, and yet we never rise high enough to get our tails off the ground.
Let us each rise to the great heights we have here at Cooperative and All-Staff, recognizing that some of the restraints that we may chafe under are actually the steadying force that helps us ascend and achieve.
Peace and Love,
P.S. Our kite record stands at 12 spools of kite string which is 6,000 feet, or over one mile high.