Baballooning through Space-Time
The sky called to me, as it often does. So I answered, walking out into the open wheat fields with my shiny balloon-ball (“baballoon”). I could fly just as easily without it; I had been trained years ago. Sometimes I still like to take it with me just in case I hit some wild currents. The baballoon helps with steering and stabilizing, responding to currents with increased mass or increased central gravity that keeps me locked into it as the baballoon acts as a small vehicle. Today felt like the kind of day for wild rides.
My dark-haired, younger sister, a ghost of Alice Liddell, came out to greet me. Her orange-green, malachite-in-gold-dirt, iridescent baballoon contrasted my electric blue-pink, sunset-to-twilight baballoon. The winds picked up, and the wheat rolled like a golden ocean. There were no words between us, just smiles and nods as we mounted our baballoons and then shot off into the horizon.
We traveled our well-beaten path in the sky, over the wheat fields, beyond the neighboring towns, to the quarry and across the miles of woodlands. We hardly ventured much farther than the woodlands on the average baballoon ride. The thicket beyond, the jagged rocks, the old mountains, and the ancient ruins that all lay before the wild and turbulent Passion Ocean were all a bit daunting. We never saw that Ocean, only heard stories, old-wives tales about sailors that never returned, creatures that lived in the deep and voices released from the breaking waves that rode on the wind. Part of our caution was also due to the amount of daylight we had for traveling. Neither of us wanted to be stuck by that Ocean as the black of Night cloaked all. Who knows what happens there at Night. I do not dare tempt an angry Poseidon or his army of Tritones.
Today we moved swiftly. We reached the edge of the woodlands with plenty of daylight to spare. We lollygagged at the edge, bouncing in the sky apprehensively at the decision we knew we’d make. Without much exchanges or arguments we agreed to venture onward while the day was still young, far younger than we have ever seen it at this edge. Quickly we bolted forward, our baballoons like knives slicing through the sky. We passed the thicket of thorns and the jagged rocks in nearly a blink of an eye. Traveling so fast, it almost seemed like the journey had a purpose. Dodging the mountains proved to be an easier task than imagined. Traveling over the ruins, we could barely make sense of the desecrated clay walls and stone columns embedded in the sand. We arrived at the Ocean much sooner than we had originally anticipated. The sun was making its journey to the horizon again, but it still was rather high in the sky; we had several hours still to explore the Ocean.
We floated high above in the gray-blue sky, where the waves could not reach us. Seagulls and other sea birds flew about not too far from us; they talked amongst themselves while eyeing our presence. The waves were angry alright, twisting, crashing tubes and towers of dark green-gray angst. The white foam was the touch of beauty to this violent scene; they made beautiful patterns in the dark breaks. I found myself and my sister slowly lowering to get a closer look at the patterns. Were they words or messages? Were they fractal designs or images of the Ocean’s inhabitants? Why it was so important that we should know, I couldn’t tell you. Within only a few minutes we were at the top of the towering waves, the water licking our feet and splashing up to our knees. Our baballoons were almost buoys at the tops of the waves. And somehow, we slid down even further to greet more of the Ocean. Before long we realized that we were about to be “in it,” as the waves started dancing around us. They were no longer a friendly coax inward, but now a hungry push downward.
“We need to surf this,” I called to my sister. “It’s the only way we’ll be safe. We must ride the waves.”
I repositioned myself on my baballoon, and my sister mimicked me. “Ready?” The baballoon almost knew what to do. We sped down the waves almost effortlessly, which almost seemed to make it all the more terrifying. I realized that the baballoons were carrying us through this trial. We had to trust in them. It was as if they had a memory of the waves or else predicted the next movement of the water just before it occurred. I was immensely thankful to have my baballoon with me. My sister was having a bit of trouble. I kept yelling to her to “Let go! The baballoon will carry you. If you try to control it, you’ll be worse off.” Once she was able to relinquish her urge to control, her ride was smooth. What helped me let go to allow the baballoon total control was insane laughter in the face of my terror.
Shore was just ahead. The baballoons picked up speed, and before the waves broke on the shore, the baballoons lifted back into the air. My sister and I sat back down on our baballoons and floated quietly as we regained composure. My face was wet and wind-lashed, stinging from salt. My clothes were drenched and heavy. My breath was irregular but slowing as I watched in disbelief at our feat as the Ocean roared and writhed, pained by a missed meal.
We didn’t meditate on the shore long. Turning our backs to the Ocean, we headed off in another direction, to follow a different path home. As we moved through the sky at an even pace (though seemingly much slower than the pace to the Ocean), Time seemed to stand still. After traveling over and through some different scenery (Forests of Autumn, Dunes of Winter, Lakes of Spring), we realized that we were indeed traveling through Time. At this realization our speed of travel became strangely modulated. We whisked through seasons and years without stopping. We were no closer to home than we were on the shore. It seemed that we needed to make an arbitrary decision on When and Where to stop. Our baballoons would carry us where-ever and as long as we desired, but where we were headed was a Mystery to us.