The Joy of Kites
Many writers have tried to describe how kiteflying -- what might seem to be just a simple pleasure -- can create profound feelings of great delight and happiness.
Part of this comes from the allure of flight itself; another source of joy is sharing these feelings with others. Some of the more evocative explanations (see More Kite Resources for source specifics) include these:
- “Flight, that mysterious, seemingly magical act, has fascinated us since the earliest days of intelligent life on earth… Ordinary people – intrigued at the possibility of overcoming gravity — have longed to participate in this phenomenon: to create things that fly and then actually guide their creations in flight.” [Create-a-Kite]
- “In ancient stories of superhuman mastery of the elements, gods and devils transport themselves with wings, and men and beasts also navigate the air.” [Ridgway]
- “For me, the joy of kiting lies in that fine sense of extension, in the fact that you have, almost literally, a hand reaching into the sky.” [Brummit]
How special are the feelings associated with kites and kiteflying?
An unknown Tao master said, “A kite in the sky is a smile of the wind.” Several years ago, Kite Lines magazine sold T-shirts with witty, pithy, and irreverent quotations about kites. Here are some favorites:
- The sky is big enough for all of us.
- The end of a string is a wonderful thing …
- If you’ve seen one kite out of sight, you’ve seen them all.
- Kites are only superficially trivial.
- That was no crash; that was a premature landing at an unfortunate angle.
We have a fabulous time with our kites and with each other.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to express this joy, so we asked fellow kitefliers to describe what they love about kites, kite flying, or the kite community. Here are some of our favorite replies:
- I love that the kites are just part of something bigger. Sharing a passion that speaks art and sport is powerful.
- I love that something as diverse as kites is a catalyst for relationships.
- I love being there to witness the glint of pure joy in the eyes of those freshly borne unto the freedom of kiting.
- I love flying all kites, big or small, and the happiness of the “little kid” in me at play in the sky with the colors and designs of great artists that created them.
- I love how the AKA has organized a bunch of crazy kiters into a great community.
- I love that perfect balance of lift and drag that keeps the tails lazily flowing—little streams of relaxation in the sky.
- I love the sound of the lines as they hum in the wind.
- I love that I helped a young guy get good at sewing 25 years ago; now I get to go to his birthday bash every year. I watched him build paper kites with his young sons last time.
- I love being in the flow when I fly kites, and I love feeling free (at least a little) from gravity and the weight of the world.
Among its many pleasures, kiteflying offers many ways of testing and refining one’s skills in making and flying kites. Some days are better than others, but nearly all kiteflying adventures provide experiences and stories to share with others who share this passion.
The kite community is an extremely creative collection of individuals who enjoy sharing their creativity with others and who are highly appreciative of the creativity of others (even if we sometimes wonder about their stories).