Thursday, June 01, 2006

Up, Up and Away

As many of you might remember, I had a big Memorial Day weekend planned, complete with sweltering heat, family togetherness and one of my favorite hobbies: hot air ballooning. This is something I only get to indulge in once a year - on this weekend.

Everyone in my family has participated over the years, some more excitedly than others. My Mom comes to the field because my Dad enjoys it. My husband comes to the field because I threaten him if he doesn't :-) (really, he enjoys it. I have to threaten him to do anything that involves standing still for more than five minutes at a time. The man can not relax). My Father and I have both threatened my Mother and husband with buying a balloon and getting our pilot's license. I'm certain we both will eventually.

And it looks like my darling daughter, Sweet Pea, has been bitten by the bug as well. This is a picture of her very first balloon ride (please notice the lines from the basket - we were tied off to no less than three vehicles. We weren't going far.)

That's her cute little head barely above the edge of the basket (and me standing behind her). I was afraid she might cry at the loud sound of the propane being fired. But nope. She cried when we had to get out. In fact, she ran straight over to a pilot friend of ours and begged him to take her up (which he would have done but he hadn't tied off to tether). Instead she spent the next twenty minutes standing in the basket with him anchored to the ground during the glow - and thought it was the best thing in the world. I have no doubt the minute we say she's old enough to fly by herself she's going to be begging Uncle Harry to take her up. I started ballooning when I was 15 and have crewed every year since. Who knows, she's been involved since before she was born. Maybe she'll be the first one in the family to get her license.

Until that happens I'll just enjoy the chance to fly whenever I can. I've been up five times over fifteen years. And it always amazes me how quiet it is above the world. There is absolutely nothing more peaceful than that.

Where do you find peace?



Playground Monitor said...

How cool! Sounds like Sweet Pea is hooked on soaring.

Where do I find peace? I guess I'm lucky in that I'm a quiet person by nature and I can find peace just about anywhere. I enjoy sitting in my den or on my backporch and just pondering. Or writing or reading. I especially enjoy traveling to the Smoky Mountains. Now that's a peaceful place!

Smarty Pants said...

My ultimate peace is a secluded stretch of beach where I can sit on a rock and listen to the waves come in and out. Wouldn't you know I've never lived anywhere near the ocean, so peace comes pretty few and far between for me. I have to fake it with a CD of a thunderstorm or ocean sounds. :)

Linda Winstead Jones said...

Very cool. I can see where flying in a balloon would be peaceful!

For me, it's almost always something outdoors. The beach, yes, the mountains, yes, my backyard on a pretty day -- yes. The outdoors, and buying new shoes. Those are when I find my peaceful moments. :-)


Problem Child said...

I can't beleive we missed the glow. We made it all the way to Decatur before the sky opened up and we heard thunder and lightning. We figured they wouldn't fly in that weather, so we didn't want to slog through the rain and came home.


Kathy said...

A journey into the clouds. I can only imagine the quiet solitude. A lifetime of it is such a legacy. It's wonderful that Sweet Pea has inherited your adventurous heart, Instigator.

Peace, for me, is there for the taking. I find peace thinking about traveling across the vast highway that spans Texas knowing that underneath that broad expanse of blue, I'm on my way home. Peace stretches out across the Black Hills and nature's wonder, it's standing above the Arizona Memorial and listening to water ripple against smoke stacks and feeling as though you can almost hear sailor's whispering voices, it's clouds passing overhead when your reclining on a floatie in the swimming pool and for the first time in ages you look up to curiously imagine shapes defining the clouds. Peace. Peace is walking through a cemetary and imagining the lives of those who once lived. Peace is having your son come home from an overseas assignment and having the sense that he's safe. Peace is a mother's hug, the playful laughter of children.

My point is... peace is a breath away. We only need to open our eyes, take a deep breath and marvel at each leaf or bloom. Too often we fill our days with flight mentality. We, as a society, have begun to move so fast that we take simple, quiet moments for granted. I'm sure ballooning's appeal is that seperation from modern technology, a return to peace, a removal of self from the hurried steps of daily life. There is also satisfaction in doing the work and realizing the wonder at the end result.

Ah! Peace. Thanks Instigator for helping me remember to reach out for it.

Instigator said...

Actually, PC, only one balloon glowed on Saturday night (which we didn't stick around for). This was Sunday night. But you should have let us know you were there! Angel and the kids went out to dinner with me and my family. We would have loved to have you along too.


Angel said...

Firmly on the ground!!!! I'm afraid of heights.

Actually, I find peace literally in the absense of noise. With two small children, I can't imagine why. :)

And something I find odd is that driving long distances is very peaceful for me. But only with no one else in the car (or the kids glued to the dvd player or asleep). Then my mind wanders and I plot my book or imagine different scenarios. Probably I find it peaceful because it is one of the few times I get to be alone these days. :)