It was hiding, really. I didn’t notice it until I went in the house through the front door. Behind one shrub and underneath another, I spotted a deflated balloon. It wasn’t easy to miss. It was a bright yellow balloon. (BYB)
My first thought was that GN needed to pick up after herself when she played with balloons in the yard . . . but as quickly as I thought my first thought, my second thought replaced it. She had not been playing with balloons. Frankly, at 14 years of age, it’s probably been some time since she’s played with balloons out on the front lawn.
I stepped into the garden and intended to pick up the yellow rubber garbage, but as I reached down to grab it, I was struck with my third thought . . . the one that remains. So I stood there a moment, amazed frankly, then had a chat with BYB.
Gram: Well hello there!
Gram: I get it. Not enough air left in you to even hiss a greeting, eh?
Gram: Where did you come from?
Gram: I get it. You are sworn to secrecy by the Balloon Code, right?
Gram: Was the person who let you go crying or smiling?
Gram: I get it. You’re not going to tell me. Very honorable of you.
Gram: Were you let go accidentally or intentionally?
Gram: I get it. You don’t want to talk. Are there any loopholes to the Silence Clause in that Balloon Code of yours? I was just curious. I’m most familiar with the intentional letting go of your balloon friends . . . .
Gram: Did you come from a graduation party? A garage sale sign? The cemetery?
Gram: I get it. My garden wasn’t your destination and there’s a Need to Know clause in your Balloon Code too. And I don’t need to know.
Gram: Did they watch you until you disappeared – up behind a cloud, downwind until they crossed into another state, or straight into the sun, too bright to stare – and then hope you would eventually get to Heaven?
Gram: I get it. Yeah, yeah, I’ll write a letter to your supervisor and tell him you didn’t utter a peep.
Gram: Do any of you balloons ever make it to Heaven? I mean . . . I’m asking on behalf of my granddaughter. I never thought to ask any of your balloon friends before, but It’s come ’round to July, you know, and balloons and letting go have been on my mind.
Gram: I get it. If you had gotten there to see any of your balloon friends, you wouldn’t be back here to tell about it. Angel isn’t coming back either.
Gram: I was watching fireflies on the other side of the house last night. Did their light guide you down?
Gram: I get it. If the fireflies were on the other side of the house, how could you have seen them, right? I was just curious. They were flying much higher than I’d ever seen them fly before.
Gram: Did you hit my house before you landed or was it a peaceful fall into my garden?
Gram: I get it. You just want to rest. You’re welcome to stay as long as you like. It’s the least I can do.
Gram: Would you mind terribly if I told my granddaughter that her mother sent you?
BYB did not utter a word during my entire chat.
As usual, when it comes to balloons and intentionally letting them go, I had more questions than answers. But . . . that’s ok. I could do worse than to have a quiet chat with a yellow balloon that found its way to my garden.
When I finally walked into my house, I couldn’t help but think of all the balloons GN and I have released in the nearly nine years since her mother passed away. Oh sure, I’ve given plenty of thought to where they land. I know the wind has carried them swiftly and scattered them because we’ve watched until we could no longer see them. But until my chat with BYB, I never gave a thought to the possibility of them landing in the garden of someone else who may have the same respect as I do for wayward balloons . . .