Carrying on with the 'Top Ten Lists' for the new year is something else I have been pondering for the past few years. Rules that the 'responsible' kite enthusiast should keep in mind when they are out there 'connecting, discovering, and exploring' through kites! These are rules I live by that go above and beyond the usual 'don't fly around power lines' or 'don't fly over people'. (oops... I have broken both of those!!!) So, here is a list, unlike any other kite flying rules list, a list that should get you thinking.
1. Be Mindful - This one is going to be on several lists for different reasons. But, it is here because we should all be mindful of not only our physical surroundings, but the people around us. Just be mindful... don't be a douchebag. Be mindful of the moments and wonderful connections that can happen if you open your heart. My kite is just a way for me to connect with others, I try to be mindful of what I might discover from them. My Kite allowed me to connect with these lovely children in Kerala, India.
2. Share - Sharing what makes kite flying so fun is easy. There is also a chance to share with the people on the beach, but what about those online as well? Kite flying is such a happy and simple thing, lets share more of it, and help bring balance back to our noisy and sometimes angry digital news feeds.
3. Fly... Everywhere - Take this one with a bit of caution and respect of other peoples space, or laws. Take a kite with you everywhere, and fly it everywhere. Where is the best place to fly a kite? The place you are at right now... that is the best place. When you start looking at how you can fly in different places it unlocks a creative and fun side of your brain.
4. Give Freely and Without Restrictions - Find a kite... give it away. It is simple. Making the act of giving away kites a part of the list of 'things you should do', helps to remind you of why kites are so awesome. Just do it. Blame it on me if you have to. :)
5. Have a Sacrifice Ready - It is well known that the wind is always better when you start putting your kites away. Sacrifice one kite to the wind gods, and put it away like you are getting ready to leave. Sometimes this has to be your whole quiver so fellow kite fliers can have a great day. Be thankful for the times they are the sacrifice, and willingly accept the times that it is you. In the photo below I sat for a full day waiting for the wind at a Snowkite competition, only to be skunked. The next day I had offered to help run the race logistics. As I dug out the tent from the 14 inches of fresh snow overnight, my fellow competitors were out getting fresh turns. I was the sacrificial lamb.
6. Everyone Can Teach You How to Fly - It really does not need to be an expert, or a long time kite flier. The kids, the person that has flown for five years, the one that has never flown before, everyone is approaching kite flying from a different perspective. It is amazing what you can learn from others, so open your mind and be prepared to learn from them.
7. Mix Your Hobbies - This one is perhaps not directly about kite flying, it is more about every hobby you have and life in general. I guess the best way I can explain this rule is as an example. I play Roller Derby, I LOVE to be on my skates. I also LOVE to fly kites. So why not fly a kite while skating around the roller rink!!
8. Be Grateful For The Moment - It can be easy to be frustrated by bad weather, broken spars, a torn kite, etc... Take a moment and remind yourself that at the base of it, you are out there kite flying. No one said that kite flying is defined by having a kite fly perfectly in the sky. Be grateful for every moment you do have that you are with your kite.
9. Don't Wait to Try Something New - Your death is already pre-planned for the future and set in stone. So, what are you waiting for? Why are you waiting for the perfect weather to go out and learn how to fly a stunt kite? Why are you waiting to feel what it is like to enjoy a power kite? What exactly are you waiting for? Just do it.
10. Break the Rules Every Now and Then - Go ahead... do it. Break the rules. Do it differently. Create new rules.