Monday, May 28, 2007

Kite by Michael S. Bennett

Dear Friends,

I realize it has been 3 months since I put up an entry. Life has been LONG. Everyone has hard situations...they weave throughout our lives. I have a number of entries to put on here, but I have to dig them out of my journal and type them. I've found some are probably among the most raw yet. The end of the 2nd year has been suprisingly difficult and arranged with new emotions of grief. I've been angry at certain situations along the way...but not really at God. Okay, I'm there now.



Like always, our gracious God meets me in the anger...and...you'll have to read Boxing Ring...coming soon. Until then, I thought I would share Michael's story Kite which he wrote and sent to me right about the same time I sent him a poem titled the same...in 1984.


Kite by Michael Shawn Bennett Spring 1984

There was once a kite that was built so that it could soar and dive and do all sorts of exciting tricks. It was red and white, and had a very long tail, which made pretty patterns in the sky as the kite flew.
The kite was owned by a boy named Tommy. Tommy loved to fly his kite, spending hours making the kite dive and swirl. Each time he flew his kite, Tommy would make sure that he repaired any rips or tears in his kite. He checked the control cords often, making sure that they were strong and not frayed.
The kite, whom we will call Red because his real name was Red Flyer Acrobatic Stunt Kite and that’s much too much to say all at the same time, enjoyed the care that Tommy paid him. However, as much as he enjoyed the care, Red envied the birds of the sky.
“I can do all of the tricks that they can, but I’m held by these cords. If only I could be free. Then I’d be able to fly with those birds.”
Each time that Red flew, he watched the envied sea gulls, hoping for a chance to be free of his control lines. He just knew that if he were really free, he could do many more tricks than the control lines would let him.
It wasn’t long before Red had a chance to try a little of his coveted freedom. Tommy had been flying Red when a sudden gust of wind took the control lines out of his hands. Tommy ran after the cords, but each time he would bend down to pick up the lines, the wind would blow Red just out of Tommy’s reach. Red was doing his part to get away as well. When he felt the weight at the end of his strings disappear, he started to climb as high as he could. Oh how he loved the feeling of being able to climb as high as he wanted to.
Red had been climbing and diving all on his own for an hour or two then he felt a familiar weight back on his strings. He looked down, expecting to find Tommy reeling in his lines, but instead, he saw a strange boy with a green jacket tugging at his lines.
“Hey fellas, look what I found!” he shouted. “A loose kite and I found it! It’s all mine now. Finders keepers!”
The boy with the green jacket pulled in Red’s lines and took him home for the evening. The next day, he took Red out to the field and sent him aloft. I should say that he tried to send Red up flying, but the boy in the green jacket didn’t know very much about kites or how to fly them. Every time he got Red up in the air, he would pull the lines the wrong way, and Red would go crashing to the ground. Up and down, up and down. Red started to wish for Tommy’s skillful hand again.
“At least Tommy doesn’t let me go crashing to the ground. This boy hasn’t even mended my tears from yesterday. Perhaps I’ll be able to get free again.”
As time passed, the boy in the green jacket began to learn how to fly a kite, and Red went crashing to the ground less often. As much as he had learned about flying a kite, he still knew very little about taking care of a kite. Red had little rips and tears from when he had crashed into the ground or into a tree, and his cords were beginning to ravel where the boy had purposely crossed Red’s lines with those of another kite. Red dreamed of being free again, with his rips mended and his strings whole again.
Red found his freedom again on a particularly windy day when the boy in the green jacket had boasted that he could “chop down” any other kite in the sky. The boy and his friends made a game of seeing who could knock kites out of the sky by sawing through the control cords or fouling them with those of a stronger kite. Red had done well, until his lines broke.
At the instant when his lines broke, Red soared up into the sky, leaving the boy in the green jacket behind.
“Look out, you birds,” cried Red. “This is Red Flyer, the big bad acrobatic stunt kite. Don’t get in my way or I’ll knock you across the sky!”
Red spent the rest of the afternoon chasing seagulls. As the shadows grew long, Red began to get tired. The little rips in his frame had become bigger.
“Those rips hurt, but I don’t have anyone to fix them for me. I think I’ll lay myself on the ground and rest for a while. Maybe that will make me feel better.”
So Red headed down toward a soft patch of tall weeds. Just as he was about to land, the wind blew him beyond the weeds. Red landed with a crunch on a hard sidewalk.
“If Tommy were here, I would have landed very gently. This freedom isn’t very much fun after all. My cover is ripped and I think that I cracked my frame when I landed. I’m miserable!”
As if to add to Tom’s hurts, the wind blew him across the yard that he had landed in and into a prickly thorn bush. The thorns held him fast, adding new rips to the ones he already had. Red would have started crying, but kites can’t cry, so he didn’t. He felt very sad instead.
Red thought that he would be stuck in the prickly thorn bush forever, but he didn’t know that Tommy had been looking for him every one of the six days since he had flown away. It was on the seventh day that Tommy found Red. He was going to the store to get some eggs for his mother when he saw his beloved Red Flyer Acrobatic Stunt Kite (Red’s real name that we didn’t use because it was too long).
Tommy took Red home and ever so carefully repaired all of the tears and holes that Red had. Then, he gave Red a new frame, built out of brand new wood. To finish the job right, Tommy made a new tail to replace the one that had been torn off when he had become tangled in the prickly thorn bush.
Red looked battered and worn, but Tommy prized him above any other kite in his collection. “This is my kite that was lost, and now is found!” he would tell his friends. Red never again complained about the strong cords that held him in Tommy’s loving hands.

We are an awful lot like Red. We were created to fly and soar like the eagles, but we need someone to control us. If the wrong person controls us, we spin in the air and crash. However, in the control of a wise and caring Master, we will be able to do all that we were created to do. Red thought that being free was not having anyone to control his lines. He found out that he was truly free when someone controlled him just enough to keep him from crashing. Who is it that pulls your strings?

Pretty cool story, yes? On this Memorial Day weekend...let's remember those who serve and have served our country. Also, those who are facing the anniversary of the passing of a loved one. Thinking of you, G....and D. The first one is such an animal all it's own. A date and a day. This morning I was reminded of those who serve and come home wounded. May we take special care of them. Just pondering how God asks us to care for one another. Isn't that what love means?

I ask people sometimes if they are a morning person or a night person. I get all kinds of answers. (I guess I am revealing my bent at 3:55 a.m....but is that my "night" side or "early morning?" :) ) My mom is up...I could call her. The other evening a gentleman surprised me with an answer that "I do what I have to do." He went on to say that when his schedule demands he work at odd hours, he is attentive and awake. He admits, though, that he can't do this on minimal sleep night after night. (He's a surgeon.) I appreciate his work ethic and what he models to his family. Sometimes in grief the phrase is "I can only do what I can do."

Ah...until later.

God is a Refuge for us,

AnnieB

2 Comments:

At 4:24 AM, Blogger danpatlee said...

Hey Annie,

Thanks for sharing that bit of Mike's prose with us. It is a great way to remind us about him and what a gifted communicator he was.

We were only near each other in San Diego a couple years it seems. But Mike blessed me and/or made me laugh almost every time we met.

You and Mike are some of the people I really look forward to spending time with in Heaven. Continuing to pray for you in the meantime. Our life is just a vapor . . .

God bless you and your fabulous kids.

Dan and Pat

 
At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a good story, Mom. There are a lot of things it would be great to share with Dad, but they will have to wait. I have been thinking of him lately.

TTFN,
Nathan

 

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