Sunday, June 24, 2012


Wind is a kind of miracle.  It was the reason that Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully flew.  Near the landmark of their first attempts at controlled human flight, Richard and Elliot went to hang gliding school to celebrate Father's day.

Hang gliding school at Jockey's Ridge is kind of like kindergarten for glider pilots.  Here, you learn safety, take off and landing.  You are rarely set off in any direction without an instructor.  There's not much time in the air to learn to navigate turns or feel what it's like to steer into the wind.  But it's flight, even for a few moments, and I can say from experience that any moment of personal flight feels incredibly wonderful.  Someday, we hope to navigate bigger gliders, over more space.

Two brothers from Dayton Ohio who helped us all experience the miracle of human flight inspire me.  The quote at the base of their memorial tower reads: "In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright conceived by genius achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith."

North Carolina license plates are stamped with the phrase "First in Flight."  While the actual flights took place in the windy Outer Banks, the men who brought their gliders were from Ohio.  Both states have museums to commemorate their genius.  My brother lives in Dayton and will celebrate his upcoming marriage on the grounds of the Wright Brothers Memorial this July.  We are thrilled to share in this wonderful event and look forward to soon being reunited with our family on this happy occasion.  With a graduation, a wedding, two vacations and Elliot's birthday, I'm full of energy and gratitude for the many fantastic things that continue to unfold.  Every week there are new friendships, new opportunities, appreciation for good health, delicious food and abundant life all around.  This weekend, a new family is moving in next door, in the house of our late friend Tom.  The young couple have a two year old daughter.  The young man is beginning his residency at the local hospital.  So far this couple immediately engaged us in friendship; we like that they are sociable, bright, articulate and active. 

With all the exciting activity, I'm also embracing the ordinary parts of life.  Strangely, I'm looking forward to cleaning the bathrooms, running the vacuum, and washing the dishes left over from last night's cook out.  Elliot is working on building a mini golf course in the back yard using boxes and found items.  Ozzie is resting and enjoying this quiet peace of a Sunday morning.  Before I break the silence with my scrubbing, I hope to join him for a little while, with a cup of hot coffee and my latest summer read: My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.  The best part of homeschooling is that I get to read all the good books I missed when I was young.

Happy Sunday!


  1. We often have such blistering wind here I don't think I've taken the time to consider the good aspects of it, so I was happy to read your excellent post on it.

    Your new neighbors sound terrific- not a replacement for Tom, but new people to enlarge and enhance your neighborhood.

    Your morning already sounds wonderful, and My Side of the Mountain is a favorite book of mine. I keep several copies in my classroom.

    Enjoy today, my friend!

    1. Thank you Shelly! You're right, there is no replacement for Tom. Yet just as you were typing a comment here, Elliot and I were at the fence meeting little Caroline, two years old, white curly hair and gifted with bright sparkling language. Such joy!

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  2. First of all I want to give a shout out to my good friend Ozzie! Secondly, I am elated to find you riding this wave of positive energy, dear Jenny. How true it is. When you stay active and involved and take stock of the abundance in your life you breeze through mundane tasks with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. I hope you keep the momentum going.

    It's peculiar, but the angle and composition of your picture caused this similar looking yet blatantly irreverent image to pop into my head:

    As a child my most frequent nighttime dream was that I could fly. I ran around my back yard with outstretched "wings" hoping that I could somehow take flight. There is magic in flying and I envy the birds and the bees.

    If you are able to cut and paste this URL, please listen in HQ sound to this magnificent song about the wonder of flight, "Eagle" by ABBA:

    They came flyin' from far away, now I'm under their spell
    I love hearing the stories that they tell
    They've seen places beyond my land and they've found new horizons
    They speak strangely but I understand

    And I dream I'm an eagle
    And I dream I can spread my wings
    Flyin' high, high, I'm a bird in the sky
    I'm an eagle that rides on the breeze
    High, high, what a feeling to fly
    Over mountains and forests and seas
    And to go anywhere that I please

    Have a wonderful day and week, dear friend Jenny!

    1. Hi Shady,
      The song lyrics reminded me that I had forgotten to include my favorite poem on wind!

      Who Has Seen the Wind?
      By Christina Rossetti
      Who has seen the wind?
      Neither I nor you:
      But when the leaves hang trembling,
      The wind is passing through.

      Who has seen the wind?
      Neither you nor I:
      But when the trees bow down their heads,
      The wind is passing by.

      Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947)

  3. Hang gliding is not something I would do ever as I am afraid of open heights
    the Wright brothers were amazing and I wonder if they could have imagined what great planes we will have now days........

    1. Hi Jo-Anne! I know it seems like an intimidating thing to hang glide, but at this school, the gliders float close to the sand, so one never feels the dizzy feeling of being high above the earth. I think that the pilots who jump from mountain tops are incredibly brave souls!

  4. Hang gliding school - what fun! I can't even imagine the wonder of soaring free like that - kinda scares me, but I'll bet it's very cool. It sounds like you're having a wonderful summer. Your new neighbors sound very nice - my daughter's husband is just wrapping up his first year of residency in Massachusetts - wish they had neighbors like you!

    1. Awww, that was a kind thing to say Karen! But that's just like you:) Hang gliding school is fun! But I think I'm just at the point where I want to try hang gliding by aero tow, where they take the glider up by an ultralight and release it. Five years ago I was not ready for that, but I'm starting to imagine myself up there...

  5. We loved My Side of the Mountain...I read it to my boys last year. Great Book! Thanks for sharing!


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