Dad made a kite out of paper and wood,
and a white, ripped up sheet for a tail.
We all watched with wonder when without any wind
he could make his kite rise up and sail!
The trick, he would tell us, is to run just a bit,
then let the string play out just so.
There is wind up above us that you cannot see;
it will make the kite rise up and go.
Up went his kite, high up over the trees,
and soon it was dancing with clouds.
It dipped, skipped and twirled as he tightened his rein.
“It’s MAGIC!” we shouted out loud!
The kite, he would tell us, responds to your touch.
Don’t hold it too loose or too tight.
Be forgiving, yet firm, let it fly by itself,
and most times it will turn out all right.
Dad gave the kite to the youngest child there,
and the rest of us waited our turn.
The kite soared, then collapsed; our confidence too.
Dad taught; we attempted to learn.
Life, he would tell, us is like flying a kite,
You hold on but you cannot control.
Don’t let a failure or lack of success
stop you from reaching your goal.
Be like the kite; reach as high as you can.
Set your goals high, and dance with the clouds!
But remember and honor the wind you can’t see.
It’s your faith that will make others proud.
Faith, he would tell us, is the courage to fly,
and belief in a presence unseen.
But most of all faith is the strength to go on,
when your kite gets stuck high in a tree.
“The Kite” © Phil Lindsey (2017), from Ebb & Flow.
Nest Number 26
“My nest, my nest, I have a nest!” So much excitement in the voice of a seven year old upon learning of his sea turtle nest adoption! “Mama, when can I go to the beach? I want to visit my nest.”
“Soon, Carpenter,” his mother answered with a smile as she closed the email with the nest information. “Your Spring Break with Mama Lee and Papa Mac is next week. You know Mama Lee will take you every day. You will be able to visit all you want.”
“Awesome! I can’t wait! I just can’t wait,” he exclaimed while jumping up and down.
Spring Break finally arrived, and so did Carpenter from Atlanta. Almost immediately he was off to see his nest, encircled with yellow plastic ribbon attached to three white round poles. A triangular orange sign identified the spot as “Loggerhead Turtle Nesting Area. Eggs, Hatchlings, Adults, and Carcasses are Protected by Federal & State Laws.” One of the poles bore the number 26—Carpenter had found his nest.
“It’s here, right here, Mama Lee! Look!” He ran his hand gently along the yellow tape, moving from pole to pole. “If I stand next to my number, will you take a picture? I’ll keep it forever!”
Mama Lee clicked away while Carpenter yelled, “Boo-yah! I love that they protect the nests, Mama Lee. I’ll help them watch my nest for sure.”
The protection efforts were led by Hilton Head Island Coastal Discovery Museum’s Sea Turtle Protection Project as part of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, managed by local marine biologist Amber Kuehn. Amber and her team of patrollers ventured out EARLY every morning during nesting season to identify, protect, and inventory over three hundred nests along the shoreline. Carpenter sometimes got up early to meet the team at his nest.
As part of the program, an adoption curriculum was spearheaded by Andrea Siebold in an effort to not only raise funds for the endeavor but also to promote awareness of the plight of the endangered Loggerheads. It included a plan to educate island residents and visitors, and Carpenter was determined to assist.
Andrea regularly updated adopters with information about the life of sea turtles, and as nests were laid, assigned each adopter a specific nest by number to enhance an ownership experience. She also emailed frequent progress details and pictures to each adopter.
Carpenter took the effort seriously. Since he knew that many out-of-state visitors were not aware of the sea turtle habitats, he saw to it that any beach-goers approaching his nest would hear about sea turtles and learn to respect them. He memorized his fact list. “Mama sea turtles, some weigh three hundred pounds, come to the beach every spring. They dig deep holes with their back flippers and lay around one hundred eggs about the size of golf balls. Then they cover up the hole with sand and go back to the ocean. Don’t touch the nest—only look at it or take a picture—and never touch or poke a mama turtle if you see one. I hope I’m here when the eggs hatch.”…
“Nest Number 26” © Carol Linneman (2017), from Ebb & Flow.