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Happiness. Simplified.

Happiness. Simplified.

We are in a field on the shores of Lake Ontario and my son is gripping the kite looking back at me from beneath its thin red skin as the September sunlight drips down through, casting  ruby shadow on to nose and cheek. Tail hugging neck, the two become one, and I imagine my boy lifting off with the breeze, rising steadily up and out over windblown waves.

I hope he thinks enough to take me with him.

Take us all.

For where would we rather be than pirouetting above the sea, anchored to a kite, steadily sailing toward sunset?

My daughter hoists loose string up overhead with both hands. Her shoes have disappeared, the overgrown grass blankets her feet and in it she is dancing softly, holding the line, dress billowing in gentle puffs of air.

This place smells of sand and water, of earth and mist, of water-logged wood and sea-sprayed stone.  

My wife stands beside me, our arms touching, and when the wind strengthens, her hair reaches out to me, caresses my neck and cheek. I turn to her. Never have I seen her look more beautiful.

Years before, we drank wine from plastic cups on her dorm room floor and pondered the future.

“I think I might love you,” I had said, quietly swirling my merlot.

“Me too,” she responded, smiling.

We had kissed then, eyes closed, free hands intertwined, hearts soaring above the room, the building, the campus; both of us aloft in the breeze, the same breeze that embraces us now, the same gentle draft propelling the kite upward, out of my son’s grasp, stealing the thread from my daughter’s fingertips.

We all four bunch together, hands one atop the other, kite growing smaller and smaller, retreating into endless blue.  We are all connected, from tip of kite to tip of toes.

Over the fringe of the hill, down below the screeching gulls and hanging wildflowers, the edge of the surf breaks and retreats, breaks and retreats, steadily, unceasingly.  

Years from now we will reminisce about this moment- the kite, the string, the wind. At the dinner table we will all raise our eyebrows in memory, a sacred toast to a sacred moment, one that I will call upon again and again with each passing year. A memory to be savored like a first kiss, an eternal summer night.

A kite. Some string. The wind.

It’s all so simple.

We breath in, the world breaths out.

A kite. Some string. The wind.

This is happiness.  

From somewhere near and between clouds, the kite inspects the tiny cluster of heads at the end of its cord. This view never gets old, this view from above, where everything and everyone looks the same, where it all moves more slowly, where so much depends upon the rise and fall of the wind, all of us connected to the heart of the world, here beside the shore of the whispering sea.

 

***

Categories: daddy-o

Daniel Rose

Dan Rose has been teaching English Language Arts to middle school students for 16 years. He is a father of 3, and likes to read to and with his children whenever possible. Dan writes to capture the fleeting moments of fatherhood.
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