It was almost painful to watch, that kite of mine.
Tethered to the string in my hand. Dancing in the sky all alone.
My breath caught in my throat, my pulse beating wild and crazy on my chest. My heart soaring with every dip and turn of the kite, as if I were flying along, instead of standing with my two feet on the ground, squinting against the sun to see the dance.
What if it fell?
What if the breeze took it away?
I counted the seconds until I could reel it back in.
I was that kite.
Fragile against the wind. Soaring one minute. Spiraling straight down next. Just looking for something to hold me up.
Before I spun out of control and flew away.
Disappearing from sight.
The villages were lighting up, constellations that greeted each other across the dusk. And, at the touch of his finger, his flying-lights flashed back a greeting to them. The earth grew spangled with light signals as each house lit its star, searching the vastness of the night as a lighthouse sweeps the sea. Now every place that sheltered human life was sparkling. And it rejoiced him to enter into this one night with a measured slowness, as into an anchorage.
We fly, but we have not ‘conquered’ the air. Nature presides in all her dignity, permitting us the study and the use of such of her forces as we may understand. It is when we presume to intimacy, having been granted only tolerance, that the harsh stick falls across our impudent knuckles and we rub the pain, staring upward, startled by our ignorance.
“When I think something nice is going to happen I seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then the first thing I realize I drop down to earth with a thud. But really, Marilla, the flying part is glorious as long as it lasts…it’s like soaring through a sunset. I think it almost pays for the thud.”