kite strings

Dear Pippy,

Your mother has a long list of things she loves: ice cream, good music, old mixed cd’s found buried in boxes, people, people watching, conversations with strangers, vegetable gardens, flower gardens, movies, movie trailers, movie soundtracks, popcorn, chocolate, chocolate and popcorn together, old quilts, old houses, old photographs, old books, good books, strong coffee, quiet mornings before everyone is awake, quiet evenings while everyone is sleeping, the sound of bare feet on creeking hardwood floors, candle light in the kitchen, the sound of coyotes in the distance, babies swaddled in blankets, babies straight out of the bubble bath, flannel shirts, wool sweaters, baseball caps that fit just right (rare), old worn t-shirts, flavor-ice popsicles loaded with high fructose corn syrup, a really good sense of humor, people who throw a wink at just the right moment (I can’t wink), bonfires and really burnt marshmallows, drinking out of the  hose in my garden in the heat of summer,  dr. pepper (not diet), rose gold, fireflies in mason jars sitting next to the beds of little children, american history, world history, writing, pencil sketches in my journal, recording memories, every and any kind of food (almost).

A list of things I despise: cantaloupe, honey dew, and kite stings.

The sun finally came out this afternoon and you all begged me to open the kites your Myna had bought for you. I secretly tried to keep them hidden in the back of the suburban. Although with it being lent and all, I figured this was as good as a time as any to spend an afternoon in actual hell. One hundred feet of kite string multiplied by six kites multiplied by six children is approximately one hundred meltdowns to the tenth power.

There is not enough patience in the world, not enough fingers to untangle the knots.

But like I said, it is lent, and so I put together those kites and we marched up to the upper field in hopes of breathing life into a pile of dragons, butterflies, airplanes, and birds.

It had only been three minutes before kites were crossing lines just like when we go fishing at the lake. Strings on top of strings tangled in streamers and now people are crying because “she was in my space.”

Lord Jesus, is this what it was like in the desert?

Sweet Jesus, send me an angel or an air traffic controller.

Scissors would do too.

I finally separated you all into your designated quadrants. You each got an acre of property and serious threats were given for trespassing;I briefly considered the use of electric fencing for enforcement.

You were having the hardest time, sweet little Pippy, and you were the biggest trespassing offender. You kept on running and running hoping that your speed would somehow keep your plastic bird elevated in the clouds. Your legs were moving a mile a minute and your bird was dragging in the grass. I finally told you that the secret to flying a kite is to wait for the wind.

“Pip,” I said, “just be still.”

“Do you hear that?” I told you as I pointed to the tops of the pine trees standing like soldiers guarding the entrance to the woods.

“Hear what Mum?”

“The wind. You can hear it if you get quiet….now wait, look at the trees in the distance, it’s coming”

When the wind rustled over the grass, the tall and wispy overgrowth began to move like a wave in the ocean. I took your kite and I lifted it up with my outstretched arm. The invisible surf scooped your kite high into the air and now you were watching the bird above you dance in the sky;  you were doing nothing more than holding onto your string and standing perfectly still.

Sometimes, sweet Pip, in order to fly you need to first be still. All the running in the world can’t force flight but, when the wave comes you will be ready and the take-off will be easy.

If you want to hear Him you have to hush the hustle. If you want to stay suspended, keep your kite strings anchored to the truth.

Don’t run, Pip. His peace is in the silence and in the silence He is waiting for you. His strength will become your strength, and that will always be enough to suspend you indefinitely.


songs playing in the kitchen today:  “lukiest man” by the wood brothers and “violin” by amos lee



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