Connected by string and the wind
For a while I was alone in the courtyard. I’d been stopped by the image of a kite above the building next door. It was just after 5 p.m.; the offices closed an hour earlier, so only a few people were out in the adjacent yards of the NGO.
On crutches, I had to move slowly with a soft briefcase slung across my back, I wanted to hurry but could not. I’d seen another kite. My slower pace allowed the scene to expand gracefully before me as I moved into the open lawn and could now see half the sky. Nine kites for a while. A distinctive diamond at the tip of each diamond-shaped kite said something about those below — and I would never know.
Two women and each of their toddlers slowed too. A couple of children arm-in-arm pointed skyward.
Azeem joined me quietly with a smile. “Friday is the day to see the kites; there is a part of Kabul where they have their … fights.” He’d look for a gentler word, perhaps; we had been together in conversations about peace earlier today. He’d stayed late to finish up a status report to UNICEF.
We parted ways for the day in the street. He headed toward the dusky shade of buildings and cars; I slowed before the corner to the guest house yard.
The children still watched the sky. All of us connected to each other by string and the wind.
The other thoughts streaming in and out had little space to stay — till I later as I watched the kites draw down, & remembered: nine children collecting wood, the special kite my sister gave me for my college graduation, the communities we’re all part — is there a child that has not flown a kite? Days of Listening kites?
Doug Mackey is one of three Fellowship of Reconciliation members from Olympia, Washington, who have just arrived in Afghanistan as part of a Clean Water & Peace Delegation. The delegation arrived in Kabul on Monday, September 5th, and will remain in country until September 28th. Additional reflections and reports will be posted regularly on this web page hosted by the Global Days of Listening project.