Carnivore Dreams – The Balloonist’s Prayer

hot air balloon
Photo by Pixabay on

Years ago, I had a leisure style magazine — was a partner on it — downstate Michigan.  We used to get to go to restaurants for free, wine tasting free, lots of fun things since we wrote articles about them–always positive.  Which wasn’t really hard because most of the experiences really were positive.

One of my partners and I went on a balloon ride in Traverse City, Michigan.  I hate flying in an airplane, mostly because I’m claustrophobic, and would never in a million years sky dive, but this didn’t scare me much.  The guy who took us inspired confidence.  There were about ten of us, and  I mostly looked outward and became part of the atmosphere since the smallness of the basket was what bothered me most.

It was peaceful and amazing.  Vast in a way that the landscape view from a plane is not–no disconnect of an iron bird between you and the clouds.  No distraction of power and speed.  The breeze on your cheek, the sound of the birds waking up, the blast and smell of the hot gas/air as it raised us up gently. (They fly at dawn or we did and though sunset would have been lovely, I think dawn is the time to lift into the heavens.) Traverse City is a lovely town, and the gentle rolling of Grand Traverse Bays– jutting into Lake Michigan like fingers giving a peace sign  –felt like a part of my own heartbeat compared to the dead aerial photos or maps I’d seen all my life.  The early fall color reminded me how soon this land would sleep.

At the end of the two hour ride, our ballooner (I can’t remember how he referred to himself, maybe flyer) advised us to drop and roll out of the basket, not land stiff on our feet, and we rolled into the soft field, the guys driving the van to retrieve us, there to help with the landing.

But the best part was at the very end,  after we landed and got back to the building –the champagne toast– where our flyer recited the balloonist’s prayer:

The winds have welcomed you with softness.
The sun has blessed you with its warm hands.
We have flown so high and so well that God
has joined you in laughter and set you gently
back into the loving arms of mother Earth.

Hear Hear!”

The experience came back to me as it seemed so opposite to our present lives. I can still fly in my mind.  A nice memory as we appreciate the good news Dr. Fauci shared this morning on the effectiveness of the Remvedsvir drug (I can never get that spelling).  It’s 30% more effective than placebo and they wanted to get everyone on it immediately.  That sounded encouraging.

We finally got some extra unemployment federal money–nothing from the state.  And no $1200, but my kids did get that.  So we see something happening –we can see they are trying.  Now we just must get open here as soon as possible.  As carefully as possible…

Some hamburgers tonight, I think.  Some work on the novel now, some yoga, a few minutes on the bike….

Happy Wednesday, folks.


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