This I Believe

kate - Jenison, Michigan
Entered on May 18, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: pleasure

I believe in hot air balloons.

This morning our 6 year old daughter dropped her cereal spoon and shrieked “there’s a hot air balloon in my backyard!” We ran out to the back patio and sure enough, a gorgeous, multi-colored hot air balloon was floating up and down and around our neighborhood. I cannot describe to you the joy we felt as we watched this balloon. Soon the dog came out and started barking at the balloon (a funny sight!). We took pictures, and at one point the balloon was so close to the ground, I yelled “say cheese” to the people in it, and they did!! We giggled. We watched in awe as the fire made the balloon rise again. We called our neighbors and they met us in their pajamas at the driveway to watch. More neighbors yelled out their doors “what a sight!” It might as well have been Christmas we were all so happy.

I asked myself later, “Why were we so excited about this balloon?” It wasn’t that the adults were simply acting excited for the sake of the kids (believe me, we do that often enough). It was that WE were excited!

And then I remembered something my older sister said right after 9-11. “The world needs beautiful things right now. Everyone is anxious and depressed about all the negative events in the world. We need moments of joy”. And that’s exactly how I felt about this morning. It was a moment of joy. There was not a thought of Iraq, strung-out Hollywood stars, random, sensationalized images of violence on TV, or any other depressing world event. For those few minutes, life was good.

And that is why I believe in hot air balloons.