Love Story Weekly: Guestblogger Mike Rather: Agape [3]


by Michael Rather


Every morning as I ride the train out of the City we pass by a little pond.  I call it the “Sanctuary” because it’s a small patch of nature that breaks up the 50 miles of concrete, steel and glass that make up the rest of my daily commute.

I make a point to stop whatever I’m doing and just look.  There are usually water fowl.  Sometimes the water is choppy.  Today it is like glass, perfectly flat and still, shimmering and reflecting the light that hits it.  The Sanctuary calms me and for a few moments makes me forget about the stress in my life.


15 knots. West-northwest. My heart quickens as I zip across the bay pulled by twelve square meters of bright red nylon flying in the sky.  Airplanes descend above me as they approach San Francisco International Airport.  Other kiteboarders zip by and launch themselves ten, twenty, thirty feet in the air.  Small waves make great launching pads as I feebly attempt more modest jumps.


Heatwave. The wind dies. 4.5 knots north-northeast means there will be no kiting today.  Waiting. Attention turns to other tasks.  Spanish class.  Aquarium creatures. Reviewing the instruction manual that came with a recent kite purchase.

Parts list:

  • Kite
  • Bridle
  • Lines
  • Control bar
  • Safety release
  • HOLY SH…T safety release

The manual really says that.  This sport is not for the faint of heart.


heart icon 0024 o’clock in the office.  It has been a really long day.  Lots of meetings.  Lots of emails, action items, phone calls…The stress has been building up throughout the day.  Two more hours to go.  One hour at my desk and then a 5pm conference call with engineering teams in Asia.  Check email: cancellation notice!  The 5pm meeting is canceled!  There is a chance to get out of here and forget all of this!

Check wind conditions.  Wind is up.  15 knots out of the west-northwest.  Check the webcam of the beach at 3rd Ave. Lots of kites in the air.  Some I recognize.  My fellow kiters are already on the water.  Shut down the computer and head for the beach.

Forty minutes later I’m launching my kite.  Out on the water every ounce of work-induced stress disappears.  I’m focused now.  On the kite.  On the wind.  On the waves. On the board.  On my body position as I carve an edge up-wind.  I practice jumping.  I watch in amazement as more experienced kiters twist and turn in the air; passing the control bar of their kites behind their backs; sometimes landing gracefully and sometimes crashing hard into the water.

I navigate between dozens of kiteboarders and pole-boarders on the water.  The thing that bonds us is the love of this amazing sport.  The wonderment of the power of the wind.  Our ability to harness that power.  To propel our bodies across the water and up into the air.  To propel our minds a million miles away from the space they occupied a few minutes earlier and a few miles away.

This is the real sanctuary.   This is where the world melts away, the stress dissipates.  I share this space only with the birds the airplanes and the other wind-lovers on the water.


Note from the editor: Michael Rather is the BFF of Kristen Holden, a badass aquarium enthusiast and kicks ass at a tech company in the valley. His personal library has an entire section devoted to Bob Woodward. We all think he should write more.

Read more of the Love Story Weekly Series here.

And if you have a love story to share, please get in touch, we love our guestbloggers!


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One Response to “Love Story Weekly: Guestblogger Mike Rather: Agape [3]”

  1. Gangster56 Says:

    Since the motor operates over a very wide RPM range, what are the factors that determine the best frequency of the motor power supply at any point? ,

    * * *

    Thank you, Gangster56.

    I’m gonna leave this one up, folks. Andy Warhol says this might be meaningful to future generations.

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