Miss Bean started barking furiously on the deck while I was finishing up the pesto. Looking out towards the mountains, I saw why. A beautiful hot air balloon was floating over the valley and straight towards us!
I remembered our Boar’s Head balloon ride after we fist moved here. It was an anniversary present, something from my bucket list to check off; I’d had a list before they even coined the term. I called it, “Things I Have to do Before I Die List.” I started it when I hit 50, not wanting to wait until senility set in.
The cows would start running under trees to escape the dreaded fire-spurting, floating monster balloon; egrets would skim along our basket’s wake; tractors would spit out hay rolls underneath us; and the worst part of all, I didn’t know where we would land. Think about it. We were at the mercy of the wind, and our pilot to gently land us in an empty field. I almost had a panic attack as we started descending, skimming trees looking for open space in preparation for a landing. Then something some might call grace, others might call reality, set in and… I let go.
There is a saying I’ve heard of, “Let go and let God.” We like to think we are always in control, but of course we are not. We might be an exceptional driver, but someone driving drunk may flip our world upside down. It’s how we handle the big challenges, a move or an illness, maybe a divorce or death – changes we all must face at one time or another – that will forge our character. And riding on the wind helped with my moving south.
I was so ready for them with a bowl of pesto primavera, but they flew on.