Monday, June 23, 2003

I found my balloons!

I went to a balloon festival last Saturday. And I took some pictures. Now I am not a really good photographer. I am actually a rather bad one. But there is something about these snapshots, of the balloons in flight, that is quite endearing to me. Even magical.

First, though, this really loooong ritual took place. The aeronauts had to lay out their gear. And inspect it. Then the huffing and puffing began, and these humongous vessels arose slowly from their slumber. Suddenly, one of them was airborne! Soon, more of them joined in. Gliding gracefully into the air. Effortlessly. At first, they all huddled together, like a flock of frightened lambs in a field. Then they started to spread out, exploring the surroundings.

This is where the magic began for me. Having never before seen balloons like these in person, so to speak, probably had a lot to do with it. But watching these gentle giants, gliding over the sky, was breathtaking. Sometimes, they would line up like an elevator. And sometimes, they would cover the sky like humongous chinese lanterns. They would float away on short expeditions. And then they'd come back, really close. Almost like they were sniffing you. Then they shot up again, calmly observing these infinitesimal creatures, crawling around beneath them. They even went so far up that they disappeared into the mist. Ascending into the ethereal boundary of here and there.

Magic, I tell you. And all in a simple balloon.