Have you heard
of soul retrieval ceremonies
performed by shamans?
Someone experiences a trauma,
a soul-shattering event,
and they take part in a ceremony
to call back all of the fragments of themselves
so that they may experience wholeness once again.
The loss of our beautiful kite
plagued me in my dreams last night.
I still felt a bit resentful this morning,
incredulous that the mother of the child who lost the kite
did nothing to rectify the situation.
I felt anxiety hoping that it was still there
caught in the trees
and that at some point
I would bring it back to me.
All day I was feeling ungrounded, unsure,
a bit grumpy.
At dusk I met my husband in the forest
I came armed with a ladder, gloves, two headlamps,
a telescoping pole, an X-acto knife, duct tape.
He brought the telescoping tree trimmer
from our old house
and we got creative with the duct tape,
strapping the two poles together
to reach the twenty five feet
from ground to kite.
I held the ladder as he prodded at the branches,
the kite steadfastly stuck,
held in place by its string
that had become even more tangled
in the stirring wind.
The unwieldy pole wasn’t working so well.
The light grew dim and we tried
before the winning moment finally arrived.
A branch was broken,
he said “Cover your head!”
and down it came,
still trapped in the branch,
waiting to come back home.
As I disentangled the man-made beauty
from Mother Nature’s death grip,
I felt the pieces of my soul coming back together.
No need for a shaman.
Just give me a kite and my soul feels whole.
Following yesterday’s experience, I’ll probably not lend out any of my or my children’s things unless I have a signed contract stipulating that the borrower will replace loss or damaged items. Which means I will probably never again lend out my stuff to people I don’t know. Oh, the humanity! I thought I could trust in basic human goodness…but yesterday’s experience got me thinking a little deeper. I still will trust, but not in the naive way I was trusting before.
On another note, I don’t mean to say that the loss of the kite yesterday was a deeply traumatic or soul-shattering event, and I certainly don’t mean to trivialize such events for people who are going through seriously difficult times…but a part of me felt fragmented, and retrieving the kite felt like retrieving a part of myself…the part that flies, that believes, that perseveres. I’m thankful for this experience.