• James Knight Media

Let's go fly a kite (and take a jump!)

Just a little thing I thought I'd begin. I'm calling it 'Thank Goodness'. On as many days as possible (during the Coronavirus crisis) I'll post a little story that reminds me of the goodness I've experienced somewhere in the world. It's just a way to bring us together, to learn from and be uplifted by one another. Here's today's offering:

In 2001, I lived and worked in India, splitting my time between Mumbai and Delhi. When I first moved to Delhi, I lived in a swish hotel on one edge of the city. At the time I was training for a marathon, and so I was a regular plodder on the streets and paths in reasonable vicinity of the hotel. I dared not run too far away for fear I would be lost forever. However, as time passed, I became braver and ventured further. One day I reached a shanty town. Wood and tin and skin all crammed together in crowded shelters. When seeing me, a boy decided to run alongside me. He giggled. I puffed. More children joined in, including some who hurried along with pieces of string attached to plastic bags that tried to catch the wind. Footsteps, laughter, and makeshift kites. What joy. From that moment on, I regularly ran through the area, and the response was always the same. Eventually, I ran out with packets of biscuits to give to the children. More joy and laughter. Soon enough, their gift in return was to take me to a nearby sandhill. It was big enough to be a mountain in children’s minds but small enough to be summitted by children’s feet. We reached the top, and suddenly one by one the kids launched themselves down the slopes, rolling, tumbling, somehow running and staying upright… Inevitably, it came to my turn, and with giraffe legs and little courage I chose to slide on my backside rather than hurl myself off the edge. Blurs of laugher passed me on either side. We did it time and again. Ten, twenty, thirty of us. I visited that shanty town many times. These days when I get sand in my shoes the feeling takes me back to a priceless time and place. Thank goodness for children’s laughter.

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