So I went "camping" this last weekend with the Denver gang. Jet skis, party islands, electricity in your tent if you wanted/needed...and our own AMAZING DJ creating music for us live around the campfire until the wee hours of the morning. It was more fun than I can even put into words. For the most part, the weather was perfect, the company was a helluva lot of fun, and (needless to say) there wasn't a whole lot of sobriety. Just the relaxing, let-your-hair-down kind of get-a-way I needed.
There was a bit of a blemish on the trip, however. Sunday morning a friend borrowed my car to run down the road a half mile or so to use "the facilities." I had set a volleyball set and my kite bag on top of the car so they wouldn't get damaged when packing everything back in the car for the drive home. My friend didn't notice this fact. When I took a load up to the car, I did. And panicked. After confirming the bag hadn't been moved to safety, I jumped in the car to look for it frantically.
Five different people were involved in the search mission. Despite only having about a half mile of terrain to cover and having noticed the loss within 30-45 minutes, they were nowhere to be found. I was, of course, quite upset. The bag was worth between $500 and $600, and most of the kites are no longer made. But it was the sentimental value that hurt me more.
The Prism Fanatic was the first REAL kite I ever bought, and was my "big" keepsake from the California road trip with Nerdy and Mandyfish. I bought the High Level, a German kite, from the Rev, who had flown it for years...and I was thrilled to own a piece of his own kiting history. The 3D (a low-wind kite), the Spirit (a quad-line kite I never actually got to fly), and the Prism bag itself were bought from someone on the kiting forum. I had a small single line delta Jace gave me, and a new cheapy dual line that made the perfect "learning" kite for friends. It cost $10, so it didn't matter if someone killed it in a blaze of newbie glory. Add in the line sets, winders, handles, etc. and there was not only a lot money and memories in the bag, but also a lot of time and prep work. Gone. In an instant.
My friend felt VERY bad about the loss, and I was doing my best not to be bitter, as I knew it was an honest mistake and not something malicious or intentional. But still...I was NOT happy. It was NOT the ending I had envisioned to an otherwise spectacular trip. As I drove home from Wheatland, I was almost in tears, but tried to remind myself of something very important. Something my mother had always tried to teach me.
They were just...things. THINGS can be replaced. People and friendships cannot. The memories were connected to the things, but not contained in them. I still have the memories. And I'm certain that one day I will again experience the peace, joy, and relaxation that comes from dancing a kite through the difficult Wyoming skies. There will be other kites, and new memories. Everything else is just details.
This, of course, is much easier to say and more difficult to FEEL. I'm still VERY unhappy and saddened by the loss of the bag. I'm certain someone drove along the road and found the bags. I have reported them to just about every agency in Platte County, Wheatland, and anyone remotely connected to Gray Rocks. But if they haven't been turned in yet, I'm not certain they will be. That saddens me, as I would like to believe there are still honest people in the world. But if they aren't turned in and I never see my babies again, I at least hold this one hope: that whomever has them finds a much fun and peace in the strings, sticks, and nylon as I did. That they create their own memories and take good care of them, as I tried to do. At least that would give me some smattering of peace about it.
Today's lesson is a tough one: some lessons are very hard to learn, and it's much easier to help others learn than to deal with our own lessons. It truly is easier said than done. Lesson #2: Good friends will usually surround you, ready to simply say "That fucking sucks!" and be there to distract, console, and comfort you when you need it. Thanks, gang!