Nothing like Flying | Teen Ink

Nothing like Flying

January 31, 2015
By Axel000 PLATINUM, Battle Creek, Michigan
Axel000 PLATINUM, Battle Creek, Michigan
26 articles 6 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.' ~Albert Einstein

 Before I've fully realized what's happened, we're lifting up.  First we clear the heads, then the trees, then, it seems, the sky.  The surrounding area below us is a sea of colors, vibrant greens, flashy yellows and sunset reds.  It's truly breathtaking.

There is nothing like flying.  Nothing compares to the breeze buffeting your face and the basket swaying beneath you.  Airplanes don’t cut it.  You haven’t lived until you’ve flied.

We seem to drift lazily, without purpose.  Occasionally, a hearty wind will spring up, tossing us off to one side, but they die away just as instantaneous as they snap to life.  The huge, cavernous space filled with hot air above us heats the air around us, keeping us warmer than we had thought it would.  Suddenly courageous, I lean over the side of the woven bowl-like platform.  The basket hardly dips with my weight, and I feel pure joy spring in my chest from the excitement of it all.

Eventually, the startling sound of the blasting fire and the burst of heat become almost natural.  We pass over a deer in some woods, and every time the flame starts with a ‘PWSH’, the deer runs.  When we float silently, the deer stops and gazes up at us, its white ears like disks on its head.  I laugh inwardly at how ridiculous it looks, but I also marvel at the detail that I never before noticed.

Ponds and marsh seem to sprout from the very ground below us, and the Deep, lovely blues and the sharp, fresh greens compliment each other.  As we admire the colors, though, a swarm of bugs settles around us.  The pilot pulls up, but the bugs follow us.  We must be at least a thousand feet above the ground before they thin. 

Off in the trees, we hear a bird call.  It’s almost warbled, but clear and sharp at the same time.  As we muse over what it is, a white-winged bird starts up the call opposite us and we look in time to see it flap away, gliding silently.  The first call trills again, then, receiving no response, repeats, lonesome. 

The sun starts to set, painting the sky brilliant colors.  The air gets colder, crisper.  The wind becomes devilish, sending us one way, then changing course suddenly.  We start looking for a place to land and we spot a yard, open and close by.  The wind seems to have other plans though.  It starts to bring us towards our destination, as if teasing us with the tantalizing closeness, before it sends us off the other way.

Finally, we descend.  We go down right where we hoped.  The balloon drops slowly.  The fire flares and we wobble down between the trees.  We loosen our knees so the impact feels less and the basket gazes the grass.  Then we’re touching down.  The chase team rushes to our aid and we start to work to get the balloon onto flat ground to disembark.  At last, we stop moving, and it’s almost disappointing after the thrill of flying. The red fabric flutters down and the mighty balloon is flattened. 

Yet even now, all I can think is wow.  There is nothing like flying.

The author's comments:

I was inspired to write this after my first hot-air balloon ride.  At first, I did not want to go, as I have a fear of heights, but after I was convinced and we went up, it was the best experience of my life.  If you have not flown in a balloon before, and you get the chance, I would highly encourage you to do so.

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