“We often fixate on the differences between ourselves and others, through the lens of our likes and dislikes, our views and opinions of how things and people ought to be. But we can re-focus our awareness and remember that we are all in the same boat…the young vibrant child; the intelligent and the slow; those with and without mental stability; the healthy and the weak; those who agree with us and those who don’t.” ~ Ajahn Sumedho
You never know where you are going to have an experience of oneness with others.
It doesn’t have to be in a temple or at a meditation retreat. It can sometimes be on an ordinary day.
My husband and I had gone to Point Loma National Park to soak in the beauty of the ocean, the hills covered with wildflowers, and the blue skies.
The breezes were steady but calm, and the views were exhilarating.
“Look!” David exclaimed.
Up in the air in front of us was a huge, multi-colored bird swooping and soaring in the wind.
Was it some kind of sea bird? Was it even real? No! It was a kite—a big, beautiful bird-kite that twisted and dipped and “flew” in the sky above.
We came round the corner to a small clearing with people standing and sitting on benches, watching a dark-skinned man balance and bend in dance-like movements.
In his outstretched hands were the strings that controlled the movements of the kite.
Standing on either side of him were two young boys who looked just like him.
We stopped and watched for several moments—and just as we turned to go on our way, a collective “Oh no!” came from the crowd.
The kite had gotten stuck in an outstretched branch of a scrabbly hillside bush.
People nodded at each other reassuringly, “He’ll get it out.”
They pointed upward. They discussed how it happened and explained it to their children.
“No, honey, don’t worry. The kite will fly again.”
There was a shared concern over the fate of the kite.
The crowd was as multi-colored as the kite itself. People with white hair—people with dark skin, with light skin, and with golden skin. Women in saris, men in turbans or baseball caps, children with bare legs, and babies in strollers—all were watching together while the scene of the kite unfolded.
I turned back in time to see the man who had been flying the kite climb up 20 or 30 feet to the top of the hillside where it dangled precariously, one branch of the bush refusing to let go of its wing.
In a daring moment, the man reached out into what seemed like thin air and managed to free the kite.
It caught the breeze and—with one of the boys holding its strings—flew upward and upward in a great soaring loop.
People all around broke into applause.
The kite man returned to the two boys as a hero.
I got into the car feeling elated.
This moment of the kite was a fabulous teaching moment from everyday life. A moment when focus and attention on one joyful event brought everyone together as one—and when differences in skin tone, or headdress, or language didn’t matter.
What mattered was the California hillside, the Pacific Ocean, the blue skies, and a magic kite that brought everyone’s spirits with it, as it rose up and flew into the sun.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina