One of my favorite natural events is a windy day. Feeling the strong but invisible push against my face is a joy that I have felt since childhood. Barring flying grit, rain or the need to ride a bicycle, a windy day is a great way to have fun. I don’t need a kite or a reason — I just enjoy feeling the wind.
On rare days when the wind is very strong, I find that I can jump up into the wind and feel it hold me up — just for a moment — as I body surf on the air.
In the city one needs to get to an open street or park to really feel the wind. I don’t count the high-velocity air sluices that pummel workers between high-rises — that is not really wind — it’s a man-made pushing match between nature and people.
When we lived in San Diego there were steady, strong winds by the ocean shore. Walking there, I saw people controlling kites using two strings. I loved the idea of working with the wind and being able to control a kite, and took a good look at those aerobatic kites. I didn’t imagine trying to buy one — instead I lovingly created it out nylon and wooden dowling. When I was done with the thread, duct tape and glue gun it looked just like the kites I had seen others flying!
But when I tried flying the kite it fluttered to the ground immediately. Confused, I asked some other kite flyers for a closer look at their kites. Sure enough, I had not swept the wing tips backward, to make the underside of the kite look like the bottom of a boat. That is why the old-fashioned kiddy kites never worked: they were flat. A kite needs to be V-shaped to let the wind sweep past it on both sides.
|Here’s a picture from today (Aug 30, 2009) with me holding the kite I made in San Diego.|
Whether you are flying kites or just enjoying the breeze on your cheeks, I encourage you to be a fan of wind, and to reconnect with the simple joy of one of life’s earliest invisible mysteries.