I had no idea balloons would work their way into morning meditation.

Here’s what happened: I woke up this morning thinking, I really want to be more present. I want to stop the more or less constant noise in my head when things get busy and/or stressful, which is pretty much every day.

So I decide to work on that, and I head down to the dock to meditate.

What Balloons?

The lake gets busy on Saturday, and I’d overslept a little, to about 7:15. I love waking up at 5 naturally, but I don’t set alarms, I just figure I’ll wake up when I wake up. This, I realize, is a position of extreme privilege. I am fortunate.

So rather than sit on the dock, which I usually do, I set up my yoga mat and meditation cushions next to these flowers. Steve just sprinkled the marigold seeds into the ground, by the way; the colors work so nicely with the black-eyed Susans and the coleus. I love how they just grew. That’s my kind of gardening. Especially when Steve does all the work.

I have a meditation timer that I start, then close my phone so I don’t look at it. Few things are worse than watching the clock while you meditate. And sure enough, the boats pulling water skiers are already racing back and forth.

Then suddenly I hear this weird noise, like the biggest air mattress in the world being blown up. I hear lots of noise while I meditate, so I’m not hugely phased.

And when, about 3 minutes later, I see a balloon in my line of vision wafting through the sky and over our part of the lake, I realize the noise is the fire that keeps balloons inflated.

Now we’d already had an experience with balloons on water over the winter, via an epic, insanely difficult jigsaw puzzle. So I figure I know from balloons. And normally, I think I would have just let the balloon pass and kept meditating. For instance, when fishermen pass me, I notice the boats when they’re in my line of vision, and that’s that. To position my mat so that I can watch a show seems like cheating a little.

But then, I see another one ascending not far behind the first

And I think, well, dude, you wanted to be present. So I pause my meditation timer, relocate to the end of the dock, and start watching.

Steve, naturally, has joined at this point and started shooting pictures. And when the second balloon lands on the lake itself and hangs out there for a while, and then is joined by two more, I pause my meditation a second time and take some pictures myself.

That said, unless otherwise noted, these are all Steve’s. I was snapping fast, then sitting and restarting my timer, and watching.

I initially think the balloon is having some difficulty when it sits and sits on the lake.


But Steve says, nope. They know what they’re doing. And then two more show up.


The next pic is mine. I have swans and balloons. How can I not hit pause on the meditation button?


(By the way, that swan in last place is still gray, s/he must be the runt as the two siblings have been all white for quite a while. It’s often apart from the other swans, but they never let it get too far away. It’s fascinating to watch, and creates a bit a of suspense: Will the swan still be gray today?)

This one is mine, too. I like having Old Blue, our trusty “vintage” (aka, ancient) pontoon in the frame.


Steve catches them all at rest.

Blue is starting to rise….

This one’s mine.

And then they’re gone….

Not sure where they went. But when you get a gift like that, pausing your meditation is absolutely the best thing to do. In a way, it’s the ultimate meditation, just being present and saying….wow.

I bet that can happen a lot more often in my life.