December 9, 2022 | ACTIVE LIFE | By Lorelei Smillie | Photo by Sydney Morris

One of Colorado Springs’ wildest weather phenomenons is the massive gusts of wind which periodically sweep the city, hurtling broken branches through the air and breaking glass. They come under the cover of darkness and leave chaos and destruction illuminated by the soft dawn. 

One question I keep asking myself in this breezy city: where are all the kites? These dancing colors pop against blue skies in many other places, but I have yet to witness a culture of flying kites on campus. The environment seems perfect for it. There are flat grounds and blue skies even throughout December, and lots of people who love going outside and playing.

If someone were to open a kite store in downtown Colorado Springs, I have no doubt that it would be an instant success. It would fit right in next to the spice shop and the stationary store and provide the community a little bit more of a small-town vibe. I can just imagine a storefront with little bells chiming as you walk in, and rainbow colors everywhere. I would personally patronize it immediately.

So, why is there so much wind here? The National Weather Service tells us that “the two main causes of high winds in Colorado during the cold season are the air pressure difference between strong low pressure and cold high pressure systems and Chinook winds developing across the Front Range and other mountain ranges.”

This pressure difference comes from the wide range in weather temperatures between the northern and southern parts of the United States. Because Colorado occupies territory in the middle, these competing systems blow in and cause ruptures in stillness. In the winter, this difference in temperature becomes even more severe.

Back to the original question: where are all the kites? Could it be because Colorado College students don’t have any free time? Or can kites no longer compete with Tik Tok and Instagram seizing our attention spans? In my personal opinion, I attribute the sad absence of kites to the simple fear that they will blow away. Last year, when the massive windstorm caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, I literally could not step foot outside. It was a powerful, incredible storm which eternally reminds me of this unseen force’s capability. 

Last week, wind warnings were sent to the CC communities’ inboxes. Although the breeze that night didn’t hold a candle to last year’s mess, the anxiety leading up to that evening was through the roof. Lawn chairs were gathered and windows shut and locked in preparation for the vicious air currents. Though it wasn’t as bad as feared, this resurgence of wind served to remind us of the ever-present alarm.

People are terrified of falling in love with a beautiful new kite only to have these invisible demons snatch it into the heavens, and I’m right there with them. I personally own two kites in my apartment in New York City, and I would never bring them here.

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