MICHAELA GIBSON MORRIS: Kites didn’t wait for March 1

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

March officially roars in today, and I couldn’t be happier to see it here.
The Morris family got an early start on March. On Sunday, we broke out the shorts and T-shirts and headed to the Chickasaw Indian Village along the Natchez Trace to take advantage of the blustery winds with a set of two-string stunt kites.
Although the Ballard Park soccer fields or the wide open expanses of Veterans Park are generally our favorite kite-flying venues, the Chickasaw Indian Village is great when the wind is blowing from the south.
It also is a favorite place to romp for Bix the dog. Sunday afternoon, everyone was ready for some springtime fun outside. In the past, the kites have been the almost exclusive domain of the Morris adults, contrary to conventional wisdom.
Stunt kites are a bit touchy, requiring quick, smooth motions to fly. The kids watch and play their own games, occasionally “helping daddy” fly the kite.
But on Sunday, in addition to fighting the wind to jump rope and play Frisbee, they took turns with the kite strings.
There was something magical about watching the kids learn to handle the kite with a gentle hand from their dad. It was a proud moment to see them steer the kite on their own, even if it did come with the inevitable crashes.
One child wasn’t bothered by the crashes and was ready to take on the next challenge in kite flying. The enthusiasm vibrated through his body and up the kite string.
The other child wasn’t so sure all the crashes were worth the pay off, scowling at the kite when it didn’t obey. But this was the same child who had spent 30 minutes battling the wind to try to jump rope around the Chickasaw Village paths. When the wind interfered, she would just start over.
It’s funny to see how the kids apply their persistence in a way that was nearly as changeable as the wind on Sunday.
The kids – and the adults, for that matter – could take some cues from Bix the dog when it comes to focus. Bix, who has long perfected persistence, spent his time at Chickasaw Village flipping up a stick with his nose and chasing it across the grass. When he was tired – as a 10-year-old Mississippi mudhound is allowed to be – he would stretch out in the grass and rest. Then he would spring up and merrily go back to chasing his stick.
Persistence is key to mastering any skill. But I suppose shifting attention spans are part of being a kid. March’s changing winds must be the seasonal embodiment of that youthful focus.
Given that there was snow on the ground two and a half weeks ago, I’m not sure whether highs in the 60s today counts as lion-like. Perhaps Monday’s blustery winds will fulfill the old adage so that the lamb – and not any more snow – will accompany March’s finale.
I’m looking forward to see what March and the arrival of spring blow our way.
Michaela Gibson Morris is a Daily Journal staff writer.
Contact her at (662) 678-1599.

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