The balloons flew again this year!!
I kept my cool in front of the crowds (and my perpetually embarrassed tweens), but deep down I was feeling how this little girl was expressing herself:
I was definitely that creepy lady taking pictures of children I did not know. Nice.
Then I asked some cousins how they felt:
The cousins over four feet tall were looking at their phones and couldn't really talk to me about the wonder of it all.
Look Pops! There was even a black balloon with a Skull and Crossbones flag! Just like your old gang!
I've been in a bit of a slump lately, so it was beautiful to see something lain flat on the ground, stretched and smoothed out, and lovingly urged to inflate with the warm air and fans that workers adjusted and angled just right. With that team, that Village, around the flattened balloon, time after time, we watched air go in, wrinkles disappear...and then FLIGHT.
Even Tweety and Sylvester took flight!
The next morning, the balloons came back. They flew in over our morning coffee and sleepy eyes:
They came in over our right shoulders and flew past the bird houses...
...Wings and feathers, air and wind...
As Emily Dickinson noted, "Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings a song without the words and never stops at all."
Thank you, Balloons, for coming every year and reminding us to take flight, to stay up, to keep moving, to claim hope.