A little girl set out one day with two things on her mind; two things she was determined to do.
The first looked pretty simple: she wanted to fly a kite.
The second looked more difficult: she wanted to know how she’d know when somebody loved her. She was pretty sure that this was the more awkward question.
That meant that the kite came first.
She got it out of its package, and she put the sticks in their places. She stretched the fabric over it, and attached a streamer tail to the end. She got out the kite string, and attached it to the kite with a good knot. She was all set to fly.
Unfortunately, she’d chosen to go out on a day which lacked one critical ingredient: wind.
Wind is usually plentiful here in East Hawai’i, but not that day. It was one of the hot, still, and muggy days of summer. I guess there was a storm offshore that blocked the trade winds from blowing, and the storm’s winds hadn’t reached Hilo yet.
Whatever the cause, there simply wasn’t a breeze to be felt.
She gave it her all, though. She raced back and forth across her chosen field, letting the kite string out behind her, and gasping each time the kite seemed to take leap skyward on her leg-driven wind.
Each time she came to stop, though, the kite would sag in mid-air, and fall gracelessly to the ground. Sometimes it would plunge to earth even as she ran. All in all, it was really frustrating.
Nothing she tried would get the kite to fly.
Grumbling, she went to see her grandfather, hoping that he would have some wisdom that would get the kite to fly. She poured out her troubles as he listened, and he cast a glance at the trees, where the immobile leaves confirmed the problem.
“I’m sorry,” he gently said when her sad tale had ended, “but without any wind a kite won’t fly.”
Some tears later (she’d been counting on this, after all), she remembered her other question for the day. Rather hopelessly, given how the kite flying had turned out, she raised her other question.
“Grandfather,” she asked, “how do I know when someone loves me?”
Grandfather considered this for a few moments, and smiled.
“Think about your kite for a moment. Without wind, what does it do?”
“Nothing,” pouted the granddaughter. “It falls to the ground.”
“Love is like the wind that lifts the kite,” said Grandfather. “If you feel like somebody is lifting you up; if you feel like somebody is supporting you; if you feel like somebody has helped you to fly, that’s somebody loving you. That’s how you know.”
As she listened, the girl realized that, despite the sorrows that had brought her to her grandfather, she now felt lifted up. She now felt supported. She now felt like her soul had taken flight – a low, short flight (it must be confessed), but flying nevertheless.
So she gave her grandfather and big hug, and said to him, “You mean like right now?”
Grandfather looked at her, and inside he, too, felt like he was being lifted up, like he was being supported. He felt his soul flying. So he smiled his widest as he said:
“Yes, granddaughter. Just like right now.”
There may not have been a kite flying that day, but two souls soared on the wind of love.
Addendum: It was at this point that one of the young people said to me, “Could you please tell us that she was able to fly the kite the next day?”
Why, yes. As it happened, the wind returned the next day, and she was able to fly her kite. Even better, though, it was also a day when she felt lifted up by love as well.
And that’s the best kind of day of all.