Last week I waxed rhapsodic on the dignity and utility of the reusable bamboo spork, and some of our other travel-friendly utensils. But then I remembered one more essential item for the family picnic: the Frisbee®. Made in San Gabriel since 1957, the Frisbee® is a California original. And at Bambu Batu we offer genuine Wham-O brand Frisbees® fashioned from recycled polypropylene plastic. Think of it as an ecological improvement on an old favorite.
Now let me tell you why I love to play Frisbee with my daughter. First of all, there’s no scoreboard, and that’s a big plus. You’ve got your throwing, chasing and catching, but no winners or losers; and when you’re in preschool, the idea of winning or losing can be a big distraction. In fact, it can even be a problem for those well beyond their preschool years.
Of course, there are many other forms of catch that do not involve scoring goals and points, but there’s something magical about the controlled flight of a 175-gram disc. Whereas most sports balls are designed to defy and penetrate the elements, in the form of something like a compact sphere, the shape of the Frisbee exposes you to the will and whim of the wind, while also allowing you harness its free energy.
That Nature has a will of her own, and is not simply another force or object to be mastered and subdued by Man, is a valuable lesson of which we can all be reminded. In releasing a Frisbee into the air, one must be attuned to the presence of the wind, its speed and direction, and throw the disc accordingly, with tact and composure. Trying to overcome a high wind with strength alone will only bring frustration.
Instead, the Frisbee wielder must angle his or her throw to catch the breeze and ride its current across the sky and over the open field in a wide arc. Likewise, the receiver must also gauge the wind and anticipate the disc’s changing trajectory. Understanding the abundant energy produced by the wind, the sun and the elements that surround us, and recognizing that these elements can also be capricious, are skills that are certain to prove valuable throughout life.
We could also extol the virtues of surfing, another excellent sport to instill self control and environmental stewardship, but as far as picnics are concerned, nothing beats a good round of Frisbee and the satisfaction you get from watching your well-tempered toss as it rises dramatically over the picnic area, bends around the grove of juvenile redwoods and drifts gracefully into the eager arms of your offspring. And I’m sure she feels roughly the same way when she tosses it back to me.