Sunday, February 25, 2007

Looking Up

Some moments become etched in memory for days, weeks or even decades, yet remain as clear as if they just happened. I’ll never forget one early June evening in 1982.

My now-husband, Mark, and I had dated for three short months. Things were finally looking up in the ‘love’ department as the adrenalin of our young relationship infused every second we spent together. Mark’s birthday was imminent and I wanted to celebrate, impress and surprise him in one fell swoop, without spending a lot of money.

I would plan something outdoors for this nature lover, but after summer heat abated a bit. That meant evening. I would impress him with a picnic of easily portable, homemade food – quiche, salad, birthday brownies and a good bottle of wine. That meant cooking ahead without him knowing about it. Finally, I would give him driving directions to an enormous field to watch hot air balloons lift off near sunset, without telling him our destination in advance.

By the time we arrived at the launch, a riot of color filled the sky as the whoosh of air filled balloons that awaited lift-off. We ate our picnic and sipped our wine, and Mark blew out candles, as we stopped every few minutes to capture a perfect image on film.

Twenty-five years, two college-age daughters and a lifetime later, a photograph from that evening hangs on a wall in our home, reminding us to always ‘look up.’