Sunday, March 27, 2011


When I was still growing up, not yet grown, I remember telling people that March was my favorite month. In March in the mountains, you can smell the ground thawing. Mud. And while the world is still mostly shades of gray, you know that winter is losing. Spring will come. And then summer. And then you can go barefoot indoors without cold toes. Which is perfect.

March is supposed to be the month for kite flying. My parents' house had a gate that opened into a large field, and I would take a kite out for flying nearly every afternoon, in the gray of March that smelled like mud. I was a free-range child.

Once, in a strong wind, my string unwound so quickly that I lost the end of the roll, and my kite flew off up the hill faster than I could chase it. I eventually found the end of the string, and walked slowly, winding it and winding it, until I located the kite in a tree in someone's backyard a bit of a walk from my home. I counted the houses, marked the look from the back, then walked two blocks around to knock on the front door.

"Excuse me, but I think my kite has landed in your tree. Could I go get it?"

The middle aged man at the door at first thought I must be mistaken. His house was too far from the nearest kite-flying field. Surprised, he finally let me, a stranger, walk through to his back yard, and I pulled the kite out of a low tree and went back home.

I learned to tie the end of the kite string to its holder.

After a few years of declaring that March was my favorite month, because it gave hope for summer, I decided to jump straight to the summer itself, skip the hoping. July was my favorite month, because my toes were already warm.

But this year, I think there is something to be said for hope, and mud, and March.

Less to be said for kite flying: Our nearest field is too far to be convenient. Something to think about for future home purchases.


Tiffany said...

I love this.

Letterpress said...

I have lost more than one kite to that business about how those who make our kite string don't tie the end onto the spindle. What is with that?

We actually dread summer around here (too hot, too long) so we mourn the coming heat (which has already arrived this week--supposed to be 88 today). Funny how the same month can prove to have such dramatic emotions in both regions.

But I loved enjoyed your story about finding your kite. Sounds like a story that could illustrate many lessons in life.