Monday, June 9, 2008

The Mysterious

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.

Mysterious and beautiful things have been happening on the mountain. A few things have happened lately but this one stands out most in my mind...

There are two different summits on this mountain. I generally gravitate to one of them, but I can see the other one from where I stand at the very top. I had reached this summit and was on my way back down when I noticed four men, dressed casually, quietly walking in a line and each of them was carrying one single yellow helium balloon. I joked to myself that this would make a great picture if each of them had tied the balloon to their wrists. I was intrigued, but they were on their way up to the other summit, and I was on my way I let it go.

I climbed the mountain again (I climb it several times each morning as it only takes about 15 minutes to get to the top) and when I could see the far summit, I saw four little heads huddled together and one arm pointing toward the sky. They were no longer holding their balloons, and because they were such a pale colour against a grey sky, I couldn't see where they had drifted to.

What was this all about?

I was hoping that maybe these men had written passionate love letters to the beautiful women in their lives and they had tied these letters to their balloons and sent them off into the fate of the winds.
But I think not.

Maybe it was a memorial of some kind. To an old cherished friend or loved one. Maybe they were setting someone's ashes free. Maybe the balloons contained the remains of someone who wished to be set afloat over land and sea and eventually become one with the ocean. You might be thinking that I am being somewhat morbid with this post, but I think otherwise. This reminds me of a story I heard once...I don't know if it was real or fiction, but it was about a man who wanted his ashes to be put inside fireworks to be set off in a flurry of sparks and streamers for his friends and family to celebrate his life after he was gone. How amazing would that be! I would love to leave this world in such a beautiful way.

So this strange and curious event will always be just that...strange and curious. But the story doesn't end there. Later the very same day, I passed by a truck waiting at a stop sign. A lone man was inside, and what should be beside him in the passenger side? Not a child, not an excited panting dog....but one single helium balloon.

I'm starting to wonder if there is some sort of *man with helium balloon* conspiracy going on here. It will forever be a mystery.


  1. what a beautiful mystery :)

    we released helium balloons at my sister's funeral and then at the grave site, we released brightly coloured butterflies and they flew into the air ... this reminded me of that ... xo

  2. We release balloons at my Mom's grave on her anniversary date...............
    Perhaps it was a memorial gesture as mentioned.

  3. when i was walking through a park today i noticed a pair of blue balloons entangled in the branches of a chestnut tree and wondered how they got there...
    now i read your post about men with helium balloons... coincidence?

    love your mystery, though

  4. makes you wonder...and the great thing about it? it can be for ANY reason, and unless we ask, we won't know.

    Maybe the question is not what they are going to do, but what you will you celebrate if it was YOU? xx

  5. When I lived on the Oregon Coast long ago, it was my sad duty one day to accompany a woman as she set her husband's ashes free. We picked a magnificent spot 400 feet straight up out of a punchbowl. At the appropriate moment she threw the urn and in the mixture of ash and moisture from the sea we watched a wonderful rainbow form and move downwards. But then catching the breeze, the whole dazzle of color rose upwards and over our heads AWAY from us in the other direction towards the top of the Mountain where no rainbow could possibly go, shimmering and dazzling, astounding our souls and confirming his spirit.

  6. sometimes (for me anyway) my story about something is far more fun than the actual truth.

    hope you are reveling in the unknowingness of your morning.


  7. Your story isn't's actually quite romantic. Now you've got me wondering what the significance is of these helium balloons. Must be some sort or ritual.
    Who knows???
    Beautiful image - as always.

  8. Hmmmm....very intriguing...I get the feeling there is a really beautiful gesture behind these balloons you've seen.(I'd like to think so, anyway.)I don't think you are being morbid either.:)

    Wonderful post...

  9. This is hard to find words for, although YOU found quite excellent ones to describe it. I can just see it in my head & it feels so quiet, so important, so beautiful. And then the lone man with the one balloon later - that is just too much. Thank you for this story & the image it painted.


  10. But, what a lovely mystery. I just love things like that.

    I am the type of person who likes to know the whole story. I am also the type who loves not knowing. Then I can make up my own ending.

    This was especailly wonderful writing. I want fireworks at my funeral now. I absolutely love that idea.

    And, a bright yellow balloon for you, too.

  11. Sometimes I can let the mind think of all the possibilities, and then I find a quiet place where I just marvel at human ritual:)

  12. Hmm the intrigue :-) I like the idea of attaching messages to them. But whatever the gesture/ritual is for, it's surely to be beautiful :-)

  13. One of such virtual baloons has arrived here, all the way from somewhere, from a complicated girl who loves simple things....and, it did have a passionately poetic note.
    So now i'm looking out for her traces.

  14. What a sight this must have been to see. How neat!

  15. How beautiful that you witnessed it. I too think it was perhaps a memorial to a friend.
    But who knows the deeper meaning of the last part of your story- another link, perhaps, in something we don't quite understand.
    You told this quite magically. Up the mountain, down again, up again, and balloons rising to the sky before vanishing.
    It's like a curious poem.

  16. What a wonderful post....:).
    Maybe u should ask one of these baloon guys the next time u see them... or may be not...:)