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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.

They Called the Wind Mariah


I should have taken this picture. I've been dreaming for months about taking this picture. I flew to Denver this past weekend and then drove to Colorado Springs to attend the Colorado Balloon Classic and take this picture. And yet, I did not take this picture. I did not, in fact, take *any* pictures. 

Not really sure why I latched onto this event when I first heard about it, but I guess the idea of seeing all that color sail away in the early morning sky struck me as, for lack of a better word, special; cathartic in some way. I felt an urgency to be there and see it, which is why I think I was more disappointed than any of the kids in attendance when both the night and morning launches were cancelled on account of wind. That's right, folks. Zero balloons. That's how many I saw. 

I'd be lying if I said I didn't mourn the balloons a little. I'd looked forward to seeing them for so long, and it's not the kind of experience you can get another chance at very often. But life is life, and weather is fickle. And I was still able to drive through the trees and mountains of Colorado, stare Pike's Peak and Castle Rock head on, and sit on a hillside overlooking the empty patch of sky that would have been filled with hot air balloons had Mother Nature dealt a slightly more calming hand that day.

For some reason what came to mind was the time a friend asked me--directly following the Oregon Ducks' 2012 Rose Bowl win, which of course was directly following their national championship loss-- to pick which outcome I preferred in general: a Rose Bowl win or a BCS loss. My first instinct was to say the win, because, hey, I'm no fool. But I told him I'd rather make it to the Big Game and lose, and I stand by that. Because we don't always get what we want, the stars don't always align in our favor, but I find there is satisfaction in being there anyway. Even if you lose. Even if you see zero balloons. It's enough to know that had the fates allowed, you would have been been on hand to witness something great.


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