The Little Red Balloon
We journey high, we journey low and are taken to the end. Our life is short. We are created when someone fills us with air and we experience a lightness like no other. Our journeys are short and we have lots of fun! Sometimes we are tied down with no-where to go, we just bob about in the wind. Other times we travel higher and higher and higher until we can go no further and get popped by the sun. It does not matter though for as soon as we are filled with air we begin again in another form, this time it may be as a green balloon or a red one. You see we are the one balloon and we take on many forms and go to many different places and we are all linked as one. What one balloon does, affects us all, we can all feel it in some way, even though we may not be aware of it. When we hear about the journeys of other balloons, we are lifted in excitement as we gather together to hear of their adventures. We don’t care that our life is short and we certainly don’t spend our time worrying about anything. We are here to enjoy our life in whatever way that means for us.
The little red balloon was sad because he was left on his own, tied to a fence, bobbing up and down in the wind. He could see all the other balloons having fun at the amusement park and he wanted to join in with them. He wanted to see more of the world and fly free in the air.
“Careful what you wish for,” said a sparrow who had perched himself on the fence next to the little red balloon.
“What do you mean?” said the little red balloon.
“Perhaps what you wish for is not the right thing for you right now. Perhaps where you are right now is just perfect for you,” said the sparrow.
“But I wish I was with the other balloons out there having fun and seeing the world,” said the little red balloon.
“What about being here now and enjoying what you are doing and seeing and experiencing right now?” said the sparrow. “Is it true that balloons have a very short life?”
“Well, yes they do actually,” said the little red balloon.
“Why spend your time thinking about where you would rather be? Why not look for things that are good about where you are right now rather than choosing to focus on what you don’t have?” said the sparrow.
The balloon thought about what the sparrow said and started to look around him. He noticed the beautiful green grass beneath him. He looked up at the beautiful blue sky above him. There was a beautiful orange flower just beneath him too, which he hadn’t noticed before. It had a beautiful blue butterfly on it. The flowers next to it had two bees buzzing around, collecting pollen, with what looked like little buckets on their legs. He began to feel the warmth of the sunshine and the gentle breeze blowing, which provided movement for him. He enjoyed feeling the gentle bobbing up and down motion.
“Wow! You are right Mr Sparrow! I feel so much happier now. Thank you for showing me the way. I had not noticed all of the beautiful things around me before,” said the little red balloon.
The little red balloon looked over at his other friends being pulled around the amusement park and this time he did not feel jealous of them and think that they were having a better time that he was. He looked at them and appreciated what he had and hoped that they were doing the same and not looking over at him, wishing that they were the ones tied to the fence.
“I can release you if you like?” said the sparrow.
The little red ballon looked around. He thought about it for a minute and then he said, “You know what? I think I would rather stay and be where I am. Thank you anyway.”
Just then the little red balloon saw one of the other balloons being released. The blue one went up, up and away, higher and higher and higher until “POP!” it disappeared.
“Looks like you made the right decision, Little Red Balloon,” said the sparrow.
“Yes, I did!” said little red balloon.
And with that the sparrow flew away.