My husband had suggested kite flying as an activity for us to share with our 8 year old grandson. We found an amazing kite store with a huge array of kites, guaranteed to be easy to fly and fun. On Wednesday’s the kite store also sponsored a large kite show at the beach in the evening.
So our plan was to pick up our grandson from summer school at noon and head to the shore with kites & boogie board in tow. We would play in the surf first, take a break to have dinner and return in time for the kite show. As with all good plans, we ran into complications. I felt myself begin to get tense and stressed as Summer school ran late that day delaying our arrival at the beach until almost 4.
We tried the boogie board close to the shore, but someone came out of the water saying they were stung by a sting ray. I saw the joy replaced with worry in our grandson’s face and felt disappointment and frustration for him knowing how excited he’d been about using his new boogie board for the second time. I was preoccupied and thinking about alternatives as it was too early for dinner as we had planned. I hardly noticed him happily building castles in the sand near the water, thoroughly enjoying watching the waves wash them away as fast as he could build them.
As we observed the kite store owners arriving with huge boxes of kites for the kite show, my husband suggested we just stay and fly our kite, then watch the show and have dinner after. His suggestion came as a mindfulness bell, allowing me to step back into the moment fully, take a breath and let go of my agenda. Now I was able to take in the enjoyment our grandson was having in the moment with the sandcastles and begin experiencing the beauty of the beach and our being together. The experience was like waking up from a trance. I felt surprised and so grateful as I had almost missed this precious time together, being caught up in ideas of how things are ‘supposed’ to happen. We enjoyed letting go into his timing for when he was ready to let go of flying the kite and go explore the area of the kite show. He was thrilled, as we were for him, when the kite store owners invited him to help deploy a 50 foot Minion air sock on one of the large kite lines! The day ended with a fresh seafood dinner which he devoured & fell soundly asleep within minutes of heading home in the car.
Mindfulness practice helps us develop our capacity to pause, breathe and begin again in those challenging moments in our lives. The gift of mindfulness was to be able to let go of my agenda which allowed an opening into an amazing, memory-making day for all of us.