Our area recently celebrated it's Annual Speedie Fest and Balloon Rally. The festival has been around for many years and each summer as we get closer to the first weekend in August, you can see people from all over the country converge on our little corner of the world to eat great food and indulge in our fantasies of flight. (Note: What is a "speedie" you may ask? A speedie is our claim to gourmet fame in Broome County, New York. It is chunks of chicken or pork that are marinated in a "secret sauce" and grilled. It is served on a bun, over rice, or in a salad). The big attraction, however, are the balloons.
What is it about our fascination with hot air balloons? Most of us got our first taste of it watching "The Wizard of Oz", or, "Around the World in 80 Days." (Now I'm really showing my age). What is it that speaks to our inner child? Our spirit of adventure? Our wish to fly with the eagles? For most of my adult life, I was afraid of flying. I don't know where the fear came from but since my mother was also afraid of flying, I suppose it is one limiting belief that was passed down to me. I was in my early 50's before I got on a plane for the first time, and once I got past my initial terror and inner dialogue of imminent death, I felt "the wind beneath my wings" in a metaphoric manner of speaking. In a word, I felt free.
I think the idea of being released from all of the pain, pressure and burdens of life, and having the ability to soar wherever and whenever we want, is probably at the root of this desire to fly. Yet flying in a hot air balloon also speaks to that little kid inside that still believes in magical adventures and happy endings. If that is so, then the question we have to ask ourselves is what limiting beliefs are keeping us tied to the ground? I don't mean just a fear of flying; I mean a fear of living - living a life that lets us spread our wings and soar? Maybe it's time to stop filling our balloons with hot hair and start filling them with dreams, with a little faith and some magic thrown in for good measure.
Balloons, like life, come in all shapes and sizes. So, what does yours look like, and where is it taking you today?
And so it is.