Spontaneity is essential for joyful living.
Not very long ago, I took a spontaneous trip to a dam nearby, and it began with a garage dive. Exactly what I was digging in the garage for I can’t remember, but I came upon an old white kite that my grandmother had given me many years ago. Amazingly it was still (mostly) in one piece. All it needed was a horizontal beam to keep it wide. After cutting some scrap wood to size, the kite was skyworthy again. (If seaworthy is a word then skyworthy is, too.)
I soon realized that my back yard, with its looming pines all around, wasn’t a safe haven for the little flyer. I mused at where a better place might be; and with a flash, I knew. I jumped on my bike, folded kite in hand, and headed towards the dam.
As I followed the path toward the dam, I passed a small stream nestled in a patch of woods. Undoubtedly, I had passed by here a hundred times before, but this time was different – I had my camera. On a whim, I decided to explore what photo opportunities the stream might present before I battled the gale winds.
Crouching down, I made my way through the branches and slid down the moss-covered slope. Delighted to see a living stream, I snapped probably a dozen photos – getting in close, and even leaning in to get a bug’s eye view of the stream. After capturing a variety of angles, I was satisfied and pulled my way back out of the patch of forest.
In retrospect, I’m very glad I took the time to divert from my original plan and photograph the stream because it resulted in far better pictures than the kite pictures I was going to take next. Visit Kite Flying and the Stream album to see all the best pictures I took that day.
Go Fly A Kite
Upon releasing my kite into the air, it became increasingly obvious that the wind speed was intense – probably gale force. Though that was quite predictable since there was so much water around me. With a minimum of obstacles, the wind had nothing to slow it down. The flight pattern of the kite reflected this as it twisted and looped in the wind. At one point, as it was above the reservoir it dipped and made a magnificent crash into the water. Thankfully, I was able to pull it out again.
The kite was flying with much less stability than it ought to, even with the wind. I pulled it back down, literally fighting the wind to bring the kite back to Earth. If you haven’t experienced this, I recommend it. It’s strange pulling in something that’s only a meter away but still flying, and it also demonstrates the power that the wind can wield. With some experimentation, I was able to increase the kite’s stability greatly by moving the wing support sticks down a bit, basically lengthening the effective wingspan of the kite.
Power of the Wind
To give myself more room, I moved farther down the path to the dam and let the kite take off above the water that was emptying into the river below. Being on the elevated path made it easy to reach a height of probably 30 meters. Again, I had to fight to get the kite down again, and I still wonder how far it would have gone if I had simply let go.
Being able to make a split-second decision to visit the dam creates a natural sense of freedom in me. And allowing myself to wander into the forest later on was a fruitful experience. By allowing myself to be spontaneous, I opened myself up to exploring an old environment with new eyes (the stream), exercise my hands-on problem solving skills (fixing the kite on-the-fly), and have a fun experience I hadn’t tried in a while (flying the kite). Without these kinds of spontaneous events, life would certainly be less “lively.”
What about you? Have you given yourself permission to be spontaneous lately? If you happen to crash your kite, there’s always the chance to fish it out again. So get out there and fly! 😀
Photos from this trip are in Byteful Photos. All photos can be used as widescreen desktop wallpapers because they are high resolution (1920×1440).
— Bonus —
Watch Gale Force Kite shortfilm