Yesterday, I rose at an uncharacteristically early time to attend the Colorado Balloon festival send off. As my alarm went off at 5:45, I poked my head out of the covers, decided I should no longer leave my window open at night because my room felt like a refrigerator, and briefly tried to rationalize staying in bed and accidentally sleeping past my alarm. I managed, however, to summon up the courage to put on the warmest sweater I could find, slip out of the house, and procure coffee.
Pink dawn rising in the East, I sped down the highway, coffee in hand, and my favorite musicians singing to me through the old car stereo as I drove.
After a long drive, a stressful parking job, and a brusque walk, I reached the park where the balloons were to ascend from and began to look for my friend.
As I crested the hill, I was greeted with a great field carpeted with colorful, and slightly dilapidated looking balloons, and pink nosed people bustling about in the early morning air.
“I am now positioned on the east side of this now mostly inflated rainbow and black balloon.” my friend texted me.
Across the field I saw my landmark. It was a lonely inflated balloon, so it stuck out. I began walking towards it and as I walked, the many piles of colorful material began to inflate and rise from the ground. I smiled and chuckled to myself; they reminded me of sleepy giants waking up ever so slowly. There was something sort of magnificent about them.
“My landmark just left the earth.”
He was indeed right. I looked to my left, and saw the great black and rainbow balloon in full shape, gallantly floating into the now cloudless blue sky.
Our new landmark was the green stripey balloon. We met there and began to watch the sleepy giants rise magnificently into the air.
I’ll fly away, oh glory! I’ll fly away.
As they rose regally into the sky, I some how felt a bit jealous. There was something otherworldly about their ascension.
I’m so glad I went, and I’m so glad there are things like balloon festivals in the world. Something that struck me about the time was the incredibly diversity of the balloons. Cacophonies of colors, multitudes of stripes, patterns, and designs. Heavens, there was even an elephant!
Each balloon seemed to express the artistic bent of its creator. They were fashioned for flight with excellent engineering, decorated with designs for ultimate delight, and set to fly and set the spirit free for a moment. How very like God, I thought to create with such care. In each of the balloons I saw someone made in the image of the Creator, creating. And what a beautiful thing.