A kite, a sky, and a good firm breeze
And acres of ground away from trees.
And one hundred yards of clean, strong string–
O boy, O boy! I call that Spring!
The wonderful sense of freedom associated with flying a kite is priceless, which is a bit paradoxical if you think about a paper object keeping afloat in the air, on a string, controlled by the operator. Well, I still think of it as a symbol of freedom, merely because it gives me the opportunity to imagine being the kite, way up in the air, dancing on the waves of the wind.
Kites have been around for a very long time, as long ago as the 5th Century BC. The true origin and reason for kite construction are not known, what is known is the symbolism of kites in China, the use in Scientific Research, Military Application, Underwater Kites and of course Fun!
The kites we know are a far cry from the beautiful silk and bamboo kites constructed in China, nonetheless, the effect is the same. Whether it is for recreation or sport, the art of flying a kite can be mastered by anyone brave enough to be out on a windy day and clever enough to steer it the way you intend to. It takes immense skill to make a kite do what you want it to do, just ask any kite fighter in Pakistan.
The simple Diamond design is just one of so many and each design has its own pros and cons. Not to mention sports kites for surfing and skating.
The west coast presents many windy days and my dear friend Klea awakened a new sense of adventure in me and of course Mishka when she showed us how to construct a simple paper kite with guaranteed hours of after-fun!
What I loved most about the kite making was her reminiscence of her Dad’s love for kites:
My dad used to construct kites with the pages of school exercise books and return home from school flying them, in those days walking home from school was not just getting home, it consisted of having fun along the way, the proverbial journey and not the destination itself. It wasn’t only my dad who had a better use for exercise books, most of his neighbours kids did the same, can you imagine the fun on the streets?
They did not have half of the entertainment we have today, let alone shops and toys, they used their imaginations and created their own fun.
Then of course this tradition was passed onto us, he taught us how to construct kites and other hand-made toys, today he teaches his grandchildren to fly paper jets and kites. I find it absolutely fascinating that despite the countless options we have, we will still go back to the simplest pleasures in life, such as making and flying a kite!
I have to agree with Klea, we seem to be longing for all the simple things in life in the midst of this technological snowball, inherently we are all drawn to making something with our own hands and then utilising it or enjoying it. This comforts me in a strange but humbling way, to think that despite all the development in all areas of life, a piece of paper, sticks and string can still provide hours of sophisticated fun by making use of one of the elements and some of your skill. Magnificent!