Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In The Air

"In our dreams we are able to fly... and that is a remembrance of how we were meant to be."

-Madeleine L' Engle

Yesterday, Monday, I went to the San Ramon Art & Wind Festival, specifically to see the hot air balloon launch and a hang gliding demonstration. I love balloons. Living up in the hills, means that every now and again a balloon will find it's way up into the hills and into my yard. A few times, I have seen them glide ever so slowly overhead, and come to rest in one of my trees.I always like to imagine what occassion might have brought them to life. A birthday party, a wedding, maybe an anniversary or perhaps it was a balloon purchased on a first date! :) Going to the demonstration was going to be difficult, but I just couldn't miss the hot air balloons. Nope. That would have been too much wonderment to miss.

The balloon launch was scheduled to take place between 6:30 and 7:30 AM. Yikes! I usually go to bed at 4:00 AM, so my body was not too happy with me. :) Also, my I was in a fair amount of pain from my legs and back, but I was determined to go and get the shots. It has been a long time since I have gone and done any photography on my own. Alan is fun to go places with, but I need to get back some of my independence when it comes to going and doing things. Sometimes my legs cramp while driving, and it can be really uncomfortable. If I am swollen beyond a certain point, I don't push it, because I refuse to get behind the wheel if I can't drive safely. Nothing is so important that I am willing to risk that.

So, what's a girl to do? A girl does her meditation, she does her T'ai Chi and she does some positive visualization. A good friend reminded me last night, how wonderfully positive it is to take a few minutes to concentrate on the things that bring comforting thoughts and emotions to mind. It works for anxiety disorders, it works for depression and it works with pain management. I don't like to take my pain medication, I just don't like the idea of developing a dependency on it. I want to give my alternative regimen a real chance. I did well, and managed some sleep deep enough to wake up feeling ok.

I drove from Berkeley to San Ramon, which is a moderate distance, and got to Central Park with about 45 minutes to spare. Parking was horrendous. LOL. I should have known it would be difficult, but it was ok, it gave me a chance to do a bit of exploring around the area, and I found some lovely surprises along the way. Some lovely geese that live at the AT&T center in the adjacent, Bishop Ranch, industrial center, were feeling playful. They are beautiful birds, who have the right of way in San Ramon, and who have seen a camera before! They put on quite a show...really made it fun to be out taking photos at 5:45 in the morning!

The balloon launch time came and went...no luck this morning. The wind conditions weren't safe for lift-off according to the balloon pilots. It was blowing at north/southwest/east, and needed to be south/east-north! LOL... or something like that. Still, I was able to find a really good parking place up close, when some folks decided to leave the festival early, and it was fun to see the colorful balloons fully inflated. The energy of the kids at the park made me feel young. Very cool. I had a blanket in my car, so I placed it down in on the grass, and sat for a while, to enjoy the crowd, and my own company. :)

I stayed for about a half an hour, then braced for the long ride home. By the time I arrived back in Berkeley, the overcast clouds were lifting, and Elvis was curled up in a ball on the bed, waiting for me to come home. He was warm from the sun coming through the window, and really nice to cuddle up with. What a nice, comfortable sleep he and I had, for about 30 minutes, until his friend Molly came knocking politely at the back door. :) Oh well, friends are important, I'm sure she had some piece of information that she wanted to share with her pal, Elvis. Friends are important. Especially good friends. :)

"The balloon seems to stand still in the air, while the earth flies past underneath."

-Alberto Santos-Dumont

"Flying Low"
Central Park
San Ramon, California
May 29, 2006
Memorial Day
Early Morning


Phinney said...

i really enjoyed this telling of your early morning adventure. thank you for sharing. i'm glad you made it! and you have such a nice place to come home to.

xo phinney

Suzanne R said...

I admire you for getting going so early and having such fun at the site! I love balloons, and your picture of them is beautiful. Will you be sharing your shots of the geese? :-)

Charley said...

I'm a wimp. Balloons? Bungee? Skydive? No way
ever ever



fdtate said...

A great photo. A pity that you didn't get to see the balloons in flight, but it sounds like you had fun anyway.

There's a hang-gliding spot about the same distance away from my house. The last time I made it up there they were all lined up and ready to go but the wind wouldn't cooperate with them either. Very disappointing. I don't think I'd want to try it though no matter what the wind conditions were like.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

I lie the shot of them lined up like that. I often wonder whether I could make myself go parasailing or ride a hang glider or go up in a balloon. There are a lot of balloons that go up on the west side of town (where I used to live) at certain tims of the year. But people do occasionally die when it comes down in the wrong place.

V said...

Sounds like great fun!