Did you know that a hot air balloon aviator cannot steer the balloon but can only move it up or down and go where the wind blows? I always thought there was some sort of mechanism that will allow you to direct it as you please. Maybe I watch too many Disney/Pixar movies. I have to admit I was horrified! Having no power to make it go left or right (or make it stop in midair – “I love the view…can we just float here forever???”), for me, is a terrifying idea. And that is because I’m a control freak. I want to know where I’m going and how I’m getting there. Which is why I love to drive, to run, will never go sky diving or bungee jumping, and am still afraid of the dark.
What if the wind blows them towards the sea? What if they go to some uncharted territory of rocky cliffs and deep ravines? What if a flock of balloon-popping birds come and start pecking, and you can turn neither left nor right? (Okay, maybe not the balloon-popping birds…)
To be brave enough to go where the wind blows is astonishing. To know when to soar high and when exactly to lower yourself to almost touch the ground is a gift. To land without falling out of your basket is, well, taught in aviation school, I suppose. And the chasers, that’s another thing altogether. Going after something freely drifting until it’s within reach is what they literally do.
So, maybe that’s why I didn’t mind waking up at 4 am even without my necessary-to-keep-me-nice-cup-of-coffee to see balloons. Not just balloons – people NOT steering balloons and going where the wind blows. A pair of eyes among a thousand pair of eyes following these balloons with people NOT steering balloons. You see, I can’t get over it.