To Fly a Kite….

                    

One brilliant autumn afternoon I turned by face to the sun and felt its warmth, drinking it in, as New Englanders do, knowing that winter snows would soon beat upon us. I do not take this sunny day for granted. I am standing in the middle of a football field exhilarated by the presence of my sons, daughter-in-law, and four of my ten grandchildren. I see my grandson toss a toy airplane and watch it do double loops. My granddaughter just keeps swinging, announcing that she is just too happy to stop. My son helps his six-year old son learn to fly a kite.

Patiently, my son shows him how to hold the kite, to keep running, and watch as it sails in the sky. Kite flying begins with many false starts. Still, the good father gently persists. Some readers might perceive this moment to be of small importance. After all, fathers often teach sons about the fine skill of kite flying. Be assured, this moment is special. I am about to witness a moment of radical thanksgiving.

The little boy I now watch run down the field with kite soaring overhead could not always run and play in the sunshine. In his early years, the child spent many months in a hospital, often confined to a crib. Periodically, his parents helped him walk down the hospital corridor. He wore a hospital gown and wobbled along, determined to get strong.

On that recent glorious fall day, I reminisced with my son about how far we all had come as a family. 

My son agreed. “Back in the hospital, I dreamed of days like these.”

I realized that it is necessary to cultivate a spirit of gratitude, “to keep my eyes open and my spirit alert…to live in continual thanksgiving.”

Such are the words of Venerable Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan. In a remarkable litany of gratitude, Cardinal Thuan felt overwhelmed by the gift of his birth, by the labors of his father, by priests who gave him the Eucharist, for being Vietnamese, and for “the people whom place obstacles in my path and cause me trouble; they help me to become holy.”

Dig deeper on that last one. What obstacles? He was imprisoned by the Vietnamese government for thirteen years, nine of those years were spent in solitary confinement. 

Never again will I complain about anything.

In my less dramatic way, I strive to be thankful for those everyday moments in life, taught to me in many ways by a little boy who has learned to delight in a kite soaring in a bright blue sky.

15 thoughts on “To Fly a Kite….

  1. Dear Kathryn,
    Today I saw your meditation in The Magnificat. It is the first time I have seen ‘Kathryn’ as my daughter spells her name. I am An American living in Britain since the 6Os, with an Irish husband and our lovely daughter Kate, living in different parts of London. Most of my family live in New York City, Long Island, California and Florida. A most treasured memory of the three Carrolls was a week spent in Maine in 93, remembered for the Lobster boats in our front view, and the two attractions in the town, an old book shop and a bird house enterprise, and the restaurant where we bought lobster with placemats and bibs describing the process of eating them properly! And our guest, a chipmunk!
    I know I will enjoy your contributions to Magnificat and would like to have access to your blogs, and children’s books. Today’s offering in Magnificat, it is all about Love was a great inspiration to me for many reasons. Sending thanks and Love, Susan

  2. Hello Susan,
    Thank you for your gracious comments. Please consider subscribing. In the next few months, my next book will be released. Lucia off Fatima will tell the extraordinary story of Lucia dos Santos in a way that will engage young readers to see and feel what it was like to encounter Our Lady in the famous visions.

    Here is the opening paragraph:

    “Imagine that you are a little girl standing in a pasture tending sheep. Imagine that you see the heavenly vision of a beautiful lady standing on a small tree in front of you. Would you run away in fear? Would you think that you were in a dream? The story that you are about to read recounts true events of a child who experienced extraordinary visions on a hillside in Portugal in the year 1917. Turn the page and begin an odyssey into the life of Lucia dos Santos, a child chosen by God to receive supernatural messages that changed the world.”

    We are having a mild winter in Maine (so far). Please say hello to your Kathryn. I am of Irish heritage, blessed with the same name as my grandmother Kathryn Keating Griffin.

    Peace and All Good,
    Kathryn

    • Kathryn-I too, found my way here through the Magnificat entry. Beautiful prose! As a 53 year old mom of four (ages 26-17), your writings fill my heart with gratitude and love for daily life with my loved ones. All praise be to Jesus!

  3. Dear Kathryn,
    I just read your beautiful reflection in today’s Magnificat and my heart soared with love and gratitude for your words which perfectly describe our life with our daughter Cara, for she is truly all about love. I remember a friend telling me when she was born that the extra copy of the 23rd chromosome contains the extra love! I shared your reflection with my favorite Moms and Dads who are also blessed with a loving and special child. Our God is Magnificent!

    PS Your son sounds like he is a good, good Father. Loved the Kite story.

  4. Dear Kathryn,
    Thank you for sharing the article in the Magnificat. Your grandson’s baptism and the love shown by the church family touched my heart. Where can I find the litany of Hope by the Venerable Cardinal?

    • Hi Linda,

      I just checked online and there are resources on Venerable Cardinal Francis Thuan. This includes his book and videos, probably including his litany of hope.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Peace and All Good,
      Kathryn

  5. Hello Kathryn,
    I read your article in the Magnificat last night it was lovely, I actually removed the page so that I wouldn’t forget to go and read your blog next day.
    Looking forward to reading more,

    Stay safe Anna.

    • Thank you for those kind words. I also remove pages from the Magnificat (they come out easily) and mail them to family members. My grandson is doing well. He turned 7 last week and requested music, a movie and soup to celebrate!
      Peace and All Good,
      Kathryn

  6. Dear Kathryn,
    What struck me when I read your article in the Magnificent was that it reminded me of a dream I had several years ago of my dearly departed Aunt Kathleen & Uncle Jack, it was so very real, & the message they kept telling me was “Mary Christine, it’s all about Love”. When I woke up I had the most intense feeling of peace & happiness that stayed with me for several days.
    Thank you for your beautiful story.
    I’ll be sure to check out your children’s books for my Granddaughter’s
    Mary C.

  7. Dear Kathryn, I was very touched by your story in the Magnificat.

    Thank you.

    P.S. Where can I find the books that you write for children? Especially the one about Lucia?

    • Hi Mary,
      If you click on the image of the book on the website it will bring you to Amazon. Lucia has not bee published yet…should be available in the next month or two. I will announce it at my website so you may want to check back in or subscribe to the blog.

      Thanks for your interest.
      Peace and All Good,

      Kathryn

  8. Like the rest of the folks I was touched by your insights in Magnificat enough so I had to cme here. I have never been on a blog. I look forward to your children’s books for my great grand children. We have a special needs grandchild who has had too many surgeries to count, is now 12 years old and has the personality and love of all things to take him far. He is a blessing to all who come in contact with him. I hope you will be appearing many more times in Magnificat. Thank you and God bless.

    • Hello Janet,

      Writers always appreciate hearing from readers who were touched in some way by their essays. Special needs children do have a way of raising us to a higher plane of love and self-sacrifice. My grandson is doing well now. He is now the big brother of two sisters with another child on the way…truly the gospel of life.

      Peace and All Good,

      Kathryn

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