Saturday, January 7, 2012

Howling balloon

Soft lighting indoors and rosy tendrils of dawn outside provide a mood of quietude.  I anticipate a cup of smooth tea - the necessary water not yet boiling in the shiny kettle.  Sleepiness still settles on my sons, whose wide eyes peer up at their papa, fidgeting with a straw and a long balloon.

Suddenly, a high-pitched howling slashes the serenity even as the now-colossal balloon hurtles about the room.  I duck!  Just in time.  The balloon rockets past my head and careens about a corner where wall meets ceiling meets wall.  Like a dog, head to the ground and dodging here then there, intent on sniffing out an interesting smell, pressure from releasing air bobs the balloon about until the howling ceases and the bit of rubber drops.

Joey, having hid himself in the kitchen, peeks warily around the door jamb.  Pointing to the deflated balloon, Ezra emits an "uh, uh, uh" as if to query what just happened.  I, on the other had, liberate my bottled-up breath in a long sigh.

Are you familiar with that moment when you realize you're on a wave's crest, friend, distanced from a painful past experience so much so that you did not ascertain the pressure built up inside you?  It's uncanny how that release comes so suddenly - not necessarily changing everything, but making you more aware and amenable to personal growth that will keep such pressure-cooker tension from forming.

It's uncomfortable to experience those howling balloon moments when they conflict with our own, idiomatic status quo.  But, it also might be exactly what we need.  If life persists in calming undulation, it will not require the courage that accompanies every great discovery.

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