When I first went ballooning, I didn’t understand that it’s more than a ride, more than an adventure. It’s a ritual.
We started by releasing a balloon to see which way the wind was blowing aloft, and then drove to the early morning field, glistening with dew, where the balloons took life.
And then there was the flight itself.
When we rose in the air the heat of the fire warmed my head, and its roar drowned out conversation. There was no sensation of movement whatsoever, no sensation of flight, just the earth moving away from us, fading into a patchwork of pastures, groves and lakes.
The morning fog swirled in tiny thermals on the lakes below us, drifting wisps of enchantment over our reflection. Cows loped across a field, eager for their morning feed. Once we dipped close to the swamp, and I plucked a needle from the top of a pine tree.
Afterwards we drank champagne and told bad jokes, a precursor to an indulgent breakfast.
It was utterly perfect. You could even say it was magic.
Take a peek at my slide show and you’ll begin to see what I mean. But if you want to truly understand, you need to try it for yourself. Which would be a happy thing. Because we could all use a little magic in our lives.
My balloon ride was with Thompson Aire Ballooning in Orlando.