Up, Up, and Away

My husband and I were good friends in high school, and the summer after my junior year, we toiled the months away working at the same department store.

Kate Headley Photography

One day that summer, while I was at work, E and our best friend, Ric, "broke" into my car (using the keyless entry) and filled the entire vehicle with balloons.

After my shift ended, I walked outside and discovered my car stuffed with brightly colored orbs of latex. An envelope was taped to my steering wheel, and inside was a note from the two culprits, identifying themselves. They also, very kindly, had enclosed a sewing needle!

Image via Brown Button

My day at work had been less than pleasant, but my balloon-filled car made me laugh and instantly brightened my day. After I finished popping all the balloons, I promptly drove over to E's house to thank him and Ric for making me smile.

jek in the box's flickr

Looking at these images makes me smile as well; perhaps it is because balloons are so often associated with celebrations or perhaps because they remind me of the day I found my car filled with their colored-goodness.

Whatever the reason, there is something uplifting (no, pun intended!) and cheerful about these balloon photos. They speak to me of happiness. Of freedom. Of release. Of hope.

Flynn Larsen

We use balloons to mark celebrations; they are sent as gifts and used as decorations. And we release balloons skywards to express joy and hope. Watching their silhouettes drift and bounce as they fade gradually from view, becoming little pin-points and then, no longer visible at all, it is difficult to not feel the vastness of our world.

carsonting's flickr

Balloon releases can be experimental in nature, as was the case for a class project of mine in elementary school. All the students attached notes to balloons before letting them take flight. As we watched the multi-colored spheres rise against the blue sky, we imagined how far they may travel. We hoped that our notes would be answered and dreamed of responses from far-off places.

Jakob E's flickr

And, sometimes, the releases signify a letting-go; although I do have a melodramatic tale from college along those lines (and perhaps I will share that another time,) right now, they signify to me a release- a letting-go- of stress.

beth retro's flickr

While we haven't quite figured everything out yet, E and I finally know a little about what lies ahead for us. I am pleased to say that E has accepted a job, which he is excited to begin, and that we will be moving to Houston!

There are still stresses to be encountered with this next step (well, and such is life!) but for the moment, I am starting to feel a little like the balloon in the photo above. I feel like a weight has been lifted, and I am rising towards the sun.


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