Friday, July 02, 2010

hot air in the capital

My blogger pal, Richard, over at The Gangs of San Miguel de Allende, often writes about the magic moments of Mexico.

OK.  He often writes from deep inside the tongue-embedded land of Sardonia.  But of magic he speaks.

He is not alone.  Most Mexico bloggers, from time to time, write about their magic moments.  Number me amongst that multitude.

If I said Oregon is filled with magic moments, most of you would laugh.  After all, my home state is far better known for its eccentrically bipolar political system rather than any sense of romantic adventure.  That honor probably goes to Georgia. 

We Oregonians love our scenery, but you will not find magic amongst our attributes.

Or so I thought.  This week, while waiting for my ride to work, the ambiance of the day distracted me.  Clear skies.  Sun.  An almost-perfect 55 degree morning.

I started pulling a few weeds from the border along the sidewalk.  The type of pesky weeds that seem to survive any thorough weeding.

While bent over, I heard a whoosh over my left shoulder.  And then another.  A sound more akin to welding than to morning traffic.

And then it caught my eye.  A ball of primary colors passing over the chimneys of Salem.  Looking like a pied Mary Poppins.

Of course, it was not magic.  It was merely a hot air balloon.  Probably hunting for an energy source in my politician-filled town.  Where we have more hot air than rationality.

As I watched the balloon pass, its grace enraptured me.  Yeah.  I know.  Shiny moving object.  Attention lapse.

But hot air balloons are inherently beautiful.  So smooth.  So powerful.  So colorful.

And then it was gone.  I knew where it was landing.  At the small park one block south of me.  Where Jiggs and I took our evening strolls.

Brief as the experience was, it added a grace note to the morning.  Actually, to the entire day.

Like most people, I get in a rush during the day.  Mornings probably being the worst with my return to the working class.

The balloon -- even the weeds -- were teaching me a simple lesson.  Treasure the brief moments of life.

Yeah, I know.  It isn't exactly Sartre.  But anything that lets me enjoy life is all right with me.

And the balloon was magically all right.


Felipe said...

This week, while waiting for my ride to work. . .

Jeez, man.

Anonymous said...

last week in sedona i got up early to walk every morning and saw hot air balloons over the mountains. a beautiful sight indded, so i know what you mean about it being magic.

now, as far as georgia being a place of romance-did i miss something?

that was a very nice tribute to sitka. i went back and read the post cynthia had written in sept.
so glad i got to meet sitka and prof. jiggs. i am one of the privileged blog readers.

happy 4th of july!


Anonymous said...

The magic you speak of is Archimedes.
And canned gas.

The crack in the sidewalk, sporting weeds, goes all the way to China.

Ants hatch treacherous political plots against smaller ants.

The bees talk about you behind your back.

And the governor controls the sun at will.

Nothing is as it seems, Alice.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely post, Steve. Wish I'd been there to see the magic. Do they soar over West Salem, too?

1st Mate said...

The sight of hot air balloons has always seemed miraculous to me, too, even when I used to see them every spring in California. They're all the more magical for being created for the thrill of the ride, not the destination like most conveyances. One of the most romantic gifts the Capt ever bestowed on me was on my birthday, our first year together, when he took me up in a rainbow-striped balloon. I'm glad you have them in Salem, too. Maybe one day you'll spot one over Melaque.

NWexican said...

I saw that balloon too while crossing over the Center Street bridge. Just so happens that the woman next to me did too which caused her to drift in to my lane and made me spill my coffee. Definitely magical. At least it was sunny..

Steve Cotton said...

Felipe -- Yeah, I know. The phrase was there for good reason.

Teresa -- Georgia has always been an exotic place for me. I think it is the women.

ANM -- After lunching with you today, I understand it all.

Anonymous -- In this case, it was northeast Salem only.

1st Mate -- I often compare balloons and sail boats. It is the process that is fun -- not necessarily the destination.

NWexican -- Nothing like a little color in the sky to startle a Salem commuter. You are probably lucky she did not drive you into the river.

Anonymous said...

One of the best things I have ever done was to go on a hot air balloon ride last September. It was my birthday present to my daughter. My daughter often gets great birthday presents from me like this.
Anyway, it was the coolest thing I that I have ever experienced. I used Vista Balloon Adventures out of McMinnville. We traveled quite a ways, touched down on the Willamette River and eventually landed at Mission State Park.

Anonymous said...

Steve, there are hot balloons in San Miguel but they aren't filled with air. They are filled with Magic