Of Love and Kites

two-kitesToday’s story features the same little girl from last week’s story. You remember her, right?

You don’t?

Well, she was the one who wanted to fly a kite and wanted to know how she’d know when she was loved. Does that sound familiar? No?

Well, it’s on the Internet. You can look it up.

Anyway, this same little girl got up one morning and, once again, she had two things that she wanted to do with her day.

The first one was that she wanted to spend time playing with her neighbor, a boy just a little younger than she was, and a good friend.

The second thing was that she wanted to know how she’d know when she was being loving to someone else. You really have to admit that she liked to ask the Big Questions.

Since she knew it was a Big Question, too, she decided to start with the easier one, so off she went to her friend’s house and knocked on the door. He was perfectly willing to play with her that day, which meant she’d already accomplished one of her goals.

In fact, he wanted to fly his brand new kite, which was even better, because now she knew how to get a kite in the air, since she had been in last week’s story.

And it was nice and windy that day.

So they carried the package with his new kite to a nice open space, and she set out to get it unpacked. She’d done this in the last story, so she knew how it went. She laid out all the pieces, and got the spars together, and got the fabric tight over everything. She attached the tail, and fastened the string to the kite with a good strong knot. Everything was ready to go.

She handed him the assembled kite and told him to stand off a few feet, and when she started running, to toss the kite into the air. Sure enough, when she took off, the kite leaped into the air like it was meant to fly (which, of course, it was) and danced higher and higher into the sky.

He came over and reached for the string, but she said, “No, no, let me show you how to do it,” and that’s when he burst into tears and ran home.

Leaving her all alone in the open field with his kite in the air.

Well, she brought it down to the ground, and wound up the string, and walked it back to his house. She could still hear the crying from outside, so she left the kite on the porch, and went to find her Grandfather.

She cried a few tears of her own as she told him the story.

“Just to make sure I understand,” said Grandfather when she was through, “Did he ask you to put his kite together?”

Well, no, he hadn’t.

“Did he ask you to show him how to fly it?”

No, he hadn’t done that either.

“Did you ask him at all what he needed from you, or what he wanted you to do?”

Well, no.

“When you do the things that people really want or really need,” Grandfather told her gently, “that’s how they know you’re being really loving. So the only way for you to know whether you’re being truly loving is to ask.”


She went back to her friend’s house, and this time she knocked on the door. When he came to see her (it must be said that his mother had to tell him to do it), she apologized for doing everything he wanted to do with his kite, and humbly asked, “What do you want to do?”

“I’d like to fly the kite with my own hand on the string,” he said, somewhat cautiously, because he wasn’t sure what she’d say.

“Then let’s do that. I’ll hold the kite while you run and get it into the air,” she said, and that’s just what they did.

The next day, there was wind again, so they both brought their kites, and soon there were two of them aloft. As they watched the two kites dance in the sky, both of them knew this:

They’d been loving to each other.

Love Like the Wind


Kite in flight

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.