Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hot-Air Balloon Over the Serengeti

Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away...

Surely, few things could be more breathtaking than a hot-air balloon ride over the Serengeti Plain.
In planning our long-awaited trip to Africa four years ago, we knew it was something we had to do.

Our arrival in Tanzania came a week into the safari. Already dazzled with the beauty that met us everywhere in Africa, I was sleepless with anticipation at the prospect of seeing it from the air.
Rising at four a.m. to set out for the airfield, we were a groggy group of tourists, but once aloft - in time to see the sun rise pinkly over the horizon - we were wide awake, and knew ourselves to be more alive than we had ever been before.

Below us, mile after mile of open grassland swept into infinity, studded sparsely by groves of spiked Acacia trees and gentle meandering streams.
Morning light bathed all in its amber glow, and edged each leaf with gold.
For a time, we were low enough to see
elephants make their way across the plain, and to watch in wonder as a lone lion stopped on his journey home to regard us quizzically.

We said little, the dozen of us on board, rendered speechless by our effortless glide
across across the silent morning plain, its stillness broken only by an occasional whoosh of flame as the pilot took us higher and farther.

My soul filled with a sense of rightness and joy. In that space in time, life was the magical journey it is meant to be and I was an undeniable part of the magic. That moment of perfection is mine to treasure forever.

After an hour aloft, we began the descent that would bring us back to ground, and to the campsite already set up for us. As we'd been gliding across the sky, trucks had wound their way along trails below us, carrying tables and chairs, and copious amounts of food. We disembarked to be greeted with flutes of champagne and orange juice to celebrate our successful flight. After much giddiness and chatter now that we'd found our voice again, we were led to table and fed a sumptuous breakfast of egg and sausage, rinsed down with strong cups of coffee and piping-hot Earl Grey tea.

I have rarely been gripped with the euphoria that coloured that day. I can only compare it to the birth of my children, or the sureness in knowing the man I was about to marry was my soulmate for life.

Life is a miracle each and every day, but it is not every day that one's dreams come true. Mine did for me, that day in Africa, and I will hold the wonder of it in my heart for all time...


Sherry Blue Sky said...

AB-SO-LUTE-LY Glorious!!!! The photos, your narrative.......I glided with you in silence across the Serengeti, and felt your awe. What a fabulous journey this site is. I so love it. Cant wait for the next and the next snippet.........I love your sense of rightness, akin to the birth of your children and your knowledge that Michael was and is your soul mate. That is a wonderful blessing that not everyone experiences this lifetime. I am so glad you two found each other and made it all this way. I LOVE the photo of you and Michael at the botom ofthis post.......glorious! Love the color the the grass too.........golden.......more, please:)

Jo said...

Beautifully written Lynette, I enjoyed gliding through the air and viewing my beautiful Africa with you! You are special and I'm glad that day was so special for you. Blessings. Jo