We went for an ordinary walk tonight to a place we've only gone once before as a family.
I was even a little mad about going because I didn't feel like going in a car. Yet it's a short ride from our house, a place that is in between right now. It used to be a golf course; it's gonna be a hospital. For now, people who get it walk there in its hills of amazing beauty graced with overgrown everything and gorgeous, strong trees.
We went because we pass it every day and never go. We went because we had nothing better to do on an otherwise perfect evening. We had already swam, already eaten dinner, already sat around.
We were at the top of the very large first hill chasing the one leading and turned around, as we always have to do for the one trailing, when we spotted a hot air balloon in blues and reds and yellows rising to the clouds. Slowly, we watched it rise, rise, rise above the trees.
And then an amazing thing happened: Another one lifted up and floated. And another. And another. And yet another. We saw about a dozen floating in the sky. The girls were amazed no less than we were.
"This is magic, babies," I told them.
I've been to a few balloon lift offs and they've always failed because of the even the slightest chance of too much wind. I've seen one, maybe two in the sky while driving before.
We were amazed but had to take a pee break in the weeds because it was too amazing to miss by running back to the car and running home.
And while I was trying to hold two four-year-old girls over weeds to pee, something magical and amazing happened.
The balloons started to land in the field at the bottom of the hill on which we stood. First one. Then another. And then many more.
I fought tears as they surrounded us with their mass volume and colors. I closed my eyes and meditated for a minute on their guttural sound of air blowing into a balloon. Their breath took mine away.
We took as many pictures as we could with the one phone we had and we just absorbed the once-in-a-lifetime moment of pure serendipity -- a true fortunate accident.
We'll walk there again but somehow I'm sure it won't ever quite be the same.
I know I won't.