Dogs distrust hot air balloons. I gathered this tidbit as my husband and I floated over the mountains in a wicker gondola, listening to the barking chorus that followed us even 3,000 feet into the air. The burner evokes canine protest -- but we had no problems, as we drifted with the currents and contemplated the silent fog in its morning retreat over the hills.
We learned that a mere a six foot rise in altitude can change your direction, if your vehicle is a hot air balloon. We learned that the tops of trees look a lot different from above, and birds look surprised if you greet them in their nest. We waved reassurance to cows whose moos voiced concern at our strange presence overhead and we called "good morning" to the folk who blessed us with their waves.
"Are those sheep?" my husband wondered, pointing to toy animals far below. "No," said our pilot placidly. "Cows." They turned out to be horses, but who cared. For the duration of our flight, nothing mattered, and that was perhaps the biggest lesson of the morning. Letting go of anxiety. Letting go of fear. Letting go of expectations. Letting go of everything -- except the absolute pleasure of quiet flight, confidence in the balloonist's competence, and sensitivity to the beauty of that is our gift for living in these hills.
Take a hot air balloon ride. Treat yourself to a massage. Walk in the early morning dew. Listen -really listen-- to the insects, the birds. Smile at a cat you haven't met. Take time for the slower things and Life will find a thousand ways to turn the blessing back to you.
© Maureen Killoran, 2005
Maureen Killoran, MA, DMin, is a Life Coach with a passion for helping people connect their strengths with their vision. Maureen offers dynamic individual and group coaching, work team empowerment training, teleclasses, and a free monthly e-zine, "Seeds of Change." Watch for Maureen's forthcoming e-workbook, Spirit Tickling -- a selection of her absolutely best articles, with questions to lead you further on your path of personal growth. http://www.spiritquestcoaching.com