JUST MAYBE... I COULD HAVE SAILED OFF WITH THEM TO A MAGICAL LAND!
BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES
aka GRANNY GEE
What is that! What is that wonderful thing in the sky? I had looked up to the sky when I thought I heard voices 'in the air'! I couldn't believe my eyes.
I lived in the mountains on 19 1/2 acres that we owned. I loved to walk up to the rock quarry that was on our land. There was a tall, gray granite wall going up from one side of the pond ...down at the bottom of that rock wall were pretty green trees that went half-way round the pond.
There were big rocks everywhere... gray rocks. Gray rocks with... lots of water moccasins sunning themselves on them! I'd had walked to the rock quarry lots of times to admire the beauty ... I didn't ever see those snakes until one day I was standing, looking around......... when I thought I saw something move on one of the rocks. Imagine my shock... my surprise!
I walked closer and felt chills go down my spine... there were short, fat, dark-colored snakes on the rocks. I could have sat there at anytime! I knew there were water moccasins there, but... in my young life I'd never seen them. I was a city girl... I didn't know where they would be... and really I never 'thought I'd see one'! I was so naive.
I thought I could hear voices, but... where were they coming from? I looked as I walked back from the rock quarry over our fenced-in pasture. The grass was so lush, green. I loved to see so much green grass! I loved looking at the trees on our land. I loved the countryside, it was exciting... I could explore, maybe find a pretty, unusual plant to bring back to the house. I loved the countryside until... it got dark at nights.
I walked to the fence, opened the gate, went through it to walk in the pasture. I heard the voices again... they sounded as if they were coming from the air! How can that be!
I looked up and my mind couldn't understand what I was seeing.... a big shape in the sky coming fast toward the ground! Excited voices talking high, people were in it!
As I watched I knew what I was seeing... it was a big, hot-air balloon and there were people in it! I began to run under it, waving to the people in the balloon... wishing it would land in our pasture so, that I could talk to them.
It was a magical sight to a sixteen year old, lonely girl who'd never been alone so much in the countryside. I ran and ran, following that balloon, waving.
I am sure they thought I was a crazy girl, but... I didn't care. Seeing the colors on that balloon, hearing people made me feel a 'wild' happiness in my heart. It lasted until... that beautiful balloon sailed out of sight behind the tree line. Strangely... all the excitement I felt... left me. I was the sunshine shining brightly ..until a dark cloud drifted in front of me.
For a short time I felt so happy, light-hearted, excited... magical! For a short time I had left the lonely world I existed in. Now... I was alone ...again. I was flying on the wind.. now, the wind had left me behind.
I walked to the power pole out in that field and sat down at the base of it...I was so lonely. I missed my mama, I missed being where there was 'life going on constantly'. I loved the mountains where I knew one day I'd live... but, I sure hated to be all alone.
Getting married too young didn't mean 'all of a sudden I was an adult'. I was really a young, scared child who'd never been left alone in her life. I had no choice but, to be stronger... fourteen years there made me stronger. I was afraid .... alot. Not only afraid alot... but, sad most of those years. I had to grow up there... everything I learned was the hard way.
Later... I found out that the hot air balloon had made a hard landing over the trees, and the river beyond them. Some of the people were injured in that landing. I wondered if they'd landed in all the beautiful grass in our pasture, would it had been a softer landing? Instead of being hurt, they could have been talking with me... telling me their stories of sailing off in a magical hot air balloon!
Maybe... they could have taken me with them on that magical, colorful balloon... and my life could have traveled another path! Just maybe I'd never been lonely anymore, traveled to a magical land and have been... happy ever after! Maybe.... :)))