you will soar

kite high above treesThe Pine wind- break roared at the edge of the property.  I felt it at my shoulder, the gust finding a gap in the trees.  We were ready to launch the kite.

“Now, throw it!”

We whooped together, the boys and I mingling on the ground.  Necks unhinged, wide smiling mouths open wide to gulp in blue bursts of sky.

Up went the kite, string unreeling so fast it burnt into my palm. With quick flicks of wrist I worked to free the fishy shape into the deep air for the up-teenth time today.  How high might I be able to pilot these coloured wings in the seemingly limitless space?  The kite whipped further away into the sky and when it hovered there, for a short time, I handed over the reins.

“Watch the tree”, I said to my son, the mangled arms of it nearly caught the flying fish as it drifted past, tail flickering, flashy and fickle.  Giant pine trees growled.  The Westerly weather with its salty winds pulsed across the farmland to our fence.

“Hold on tight, there is a big blow coming for us…”

As if lead in a waltz by the wind, the kite took the slack on the reel.  Held tight by the grasp of little white knuckles.  The tail flicked and bucked about in a sky splashed with cloud.  Then with a dropped shoulder turn, the kite bowed down close to the ground.  The quiet in the garden, revealed only birdsong and I felt the snout of my dog nudging for a pat; he rolled onto the grass at my feet, large paws pointing up to the kite, his lips stretched over long teeth in squeaky yawn.

“Come on,” the string of the kite began to tangle on the grassy floor, “up you get.”

A Currawong called out.  The sleek black model glided evenly across the garden, above the lawn peering at us land bound peeps with our scrap of fabric floundering on an odd reel of string.  It took watch with a beady-eyed garden buddy in the dead gum.

“It’s dropping Mum”.kite in the sun

In slow motion I watch the kite in descent. The sun glints in the peripheral, on my bare arms; my boys cheeks are rosy.  It is winter still; but clear. This activity has been all consuming and I’m so grateful for this unexpected exercise.  Only when I’ve been laughing at tangled little bodies at the end of the kite line do I realise how rare this kind of laughter is. Perhaps it is the delirium of a show of sun after a wet month.

“Here, let me.” I take back the string, I’m not ready to retire. I tug the airborne kite towards me, hoping for a punch of wind to help my plunging beauty.  There is a little stirring in the leaves.  It might be enough to get it back above the tree line.

Pink, green, blue and purple waves of motion ripple and leap at length from where I stand. I jerk the line.  It may be no use, this fall was close to grounding so I took off.  A clompy gumboot run with the kite surging behind me.

The boys were distracted at the tree swing.  Interest was waning with height.  Then I noticed them pause in play, prick their ears and their open faces looked around.  The sound of the wind raised the pine needles in a furious whistle across the green.  First the boys fixed eyes on a flailing mother figure, feeding the line in great urgency and then they looked up, watching the racing ascent of the kite directly above them.

“Look!” They are squealing and I’m laughing with them.  I hold my post and feel the rush of the air moving about us, the hairs on my arms skyward.  The fish finds new heights, swimming in great currents where birds normally go.  Then like a rocket, it is propelled sideways and flicks over- I’ve lost control.  The boys begin to run.  The Mulberry tree has its fingers straining to grab the pretty object but it bounces off the high sticks and shoots like an arrow at the ground, the wing clipping the edge of a shrieking child.  I cover my laughter with a hand; my son is on the grass spread-eagled.  I listen for the child’s cry. Then I hear it; it starts as a little giggle then grows into tumbling laughter. Over on the ground is the kite, all drooped and less beautiful than in flight.  At its side we are unwound, wriggling with joy.2013-08-23 13.58.362013-08-23 14.02.12 2013-08-23 14.11.58

kite in clouds



surviving stormy days

put a flag on the antenna of your toilet roll car

When it is winter and the rain has dampened everything including your spirits just have a quiet moment with your children. Let them guide you creatively with their chosen play. You may have tried to calm a cry of boredom with ‘collage’, starting with cut- outs only using images the colour ‘blue’. Now, once your child is settled with all the appropriate tools instead of running off to get that ‘thing’ done- stay! Let a bit of yellow in at the insistence of your child. Children are good at finding sunny yellow on a grey day. Initiating play that has room to expand; room to grow into something more than the original idea can stretch your own creativity along with your child. There will be lots of ideas to talk about and necessary focus on fiddly tasks like pasting or cutting bits out that you are really good at. I think a mother can find something akin to meditation in these kinds of activities; have some real bonding moments with their children and shift a stormy mood into something airy and bright.

contain the crap; this is our basket of ‘making’ goodies