8
Apr
2015
0

A lesson from the beach

MDJB logo04Nobody has business getting upset at the beach, but there I was in a funk at Gulf Shores, Alabama. It was probably of my own making, but I had help.

I like to fly stunt kites and that takes some room. I usually set up in a clear area that people can easily avoid, but it didn’t work that way.

People kept walking through my kite-flying space. The best I could say is they had faith in my ability to control the kite.

The worst thing I could say? Let’s not go there.

I stopped my flying early to go sulk on a beach towel next to my wife. I might’ve grumbled about a general distaste for human beings.

Wouldn’t you know? A group a young human beings got between me and the Gulf of Mexico and started horsing around with each other. I understood they had a right to be there and they weren’t causing any harm, but I was annoyed, all the same.

Then I noticed they were speaking in sign language, and one kid was kicking up sand at his friends and laughing this slightly awkward but heartfelt laugh.

That laugh went straight through me.

I’m pretty sure he had no idea what he sounded like, but it was joyous and unfettered, the kind of laugh that belonged on a sunny beach. That kid and his friends were having a good time, and their fun overwhelmed my sour mood.

I do wonder if the fact the kids were deaf caused me to judge them differently, and that might be so. But I hope that laugh was universal enough that it would’ve broken through my beach funk, no matter who let it fly.

I wish people would’ve watched where they were going when my kite was cutting through the sky, but I can’t complain about the way the day turned out.

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