SHE ONLY let go of his hand for a moment, all the better to chase the colourful kite sailing above their heads. Her arms are raised, as though she can touch the clouds or pull the kite to her with an invisible string clasped in her hands.
The cool breeze brushes against her bare forearms, her face tilted skywards. There’s nothing so perfect as a March day when the heavens are smiling so wide you can almost see their teeth.
The kite is tethered but it is free and so is she. Tethered to her father standing close behind but out of view; free as the kite soaring into the blue.
She follows its path along the clouds, running to catch up but it is forever out of reach. No matter, the joy is in the chasing not the catching.
They had only planned on the park and slides and maybe swings, not kites. Nothing so special as that. They were a surprise bonus.
As was the wonder their simple appearance brought out in her. The thrill in her voice when she came home to tell me that, “We saw kites, Mum! It was a kite festival.” Festival. It’s a new word for her but her voice is clear and true. I understand perfectly.
And the happiness on her Dad’s face, “She held my hand for ages. She sat and painted her face with the other children. She made a little book inscribed with her name. And danced. We both danced.”
They both danced. The kite was reeled in at festival’s end but the magic went on in their heads. All night long.