Go Fly a Kite!

I remember in my youth, when I was under foot in the kitchen my mother would laughingly tell me to go fly a kite.

There is nothing more joyous than standing in the middle of the field, hanging onto a string and feeling the power of the wind on my kite. I made it out of a plastic tablecloth, two sticks crossed in the middle and held with a twist tie. Flapping in the wind were five pieces of white cloth spaced evenly apart to act as a tail. As I stood there with my hair flowing in the wind, my heart was full of pride, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Oh, to be young again.

What is that? Age is the criteria for fun. No. I have been working with an elderly gentleman, living alone and experiencing vision impairment. One day I took him to fly a kite.

Vicki Calder is owner of Reveal Living. She is a low-vision specialist for North of the Malahat. Her number is 250.751.5670, or email reveal-living@shaw.ca

The summer day was glorious. The sun was shining; the wind held a steady NW wind and it was ours. George, I will call him, was standing in the foyer, sunglasses and peaked hat on, ready for the adventure. Off we went, George leading the way, as he knew just the spot. When we arrived, George asked that I get the kite flying and then hand him the string. I did as he asked. After a short time I handed George the string. The look on his face was priceless. He could not see the kite, flying only about eight feet off the ground. Nor could he see that the kite was flying upside down. What he could see was the strength of the wind. The feeling of control over something so glorious seemed to provide George with the sense of independence that he had longed for since loosing his vision. We laughed, ran and stood in the quiet of the day, together.

The minutes dissolved into hours of enjoyment and then we headed home. As I left George in his home preparing his dinner, I noticed a small slow grin come across his face. He turned to me and said, "Get out of my kitchen and go fly a kite.”

Vicki Calder is a low=vision specialist and owner of Reveal Living Sight Enhancement Services. Call her at 250.751.5670 or email reveal-living@shaw.ca