Frieda loved the great outdoors and vast empty spaces, the bigger the better. So it came as no surprise that, when a good friend of hers won two tickets for an hour long trip in a hot air balloon, she jumped at the opportunity when she got the invite to fly high in the sky. There wasn’t enough excitement in her life these days and everything had fallen into a mundane routine which she really despised. But an hour long trip with one of her best friends in a balloon was just the tonic she needed to make the week less ordinary.
Botany as an occupation was interesting enough. She had spent five years in her youth to get the qualifications needed to have the right to call herself such; she loved nature and all the good things it had to offer so it was no wonder that she decided to spend her life in the study of it. But as she came to learn quite quickly, wanting to walk a path and actually treading it are two very different things, and her life had indeed become routine in the sense that it was predictable each day. She still loved her vocation and being a botanist was a fascinating subject but, maybe it was her environment, or was it the foundation she worked for? Whatever it was she just felt, these days, that her life needed a bit more spice to liven it up.
She couldn’t help but get the feeling that something had broken inside her, something that enabled her to look forward to each day as it came, but now it seemed that everything in her life was going backward and making her question her decisions. She would walk down to the beach which, interestingly enough, was the prime reason she had decided to move to the small seaside town where she resided – despite the lengthy travelling each day to work and back, it was worth it to be able to walk the beach and experience the great expanse before her; she never got bored with that.
Was it a betrayal of profession to think like she did? To think that she might have made a wrong choice all those years ago about what she was going to do with her life. She would shudder at such thoughts and shake them off until they faded. In her mind it was a natural process or thing to actively question oneself, because without that there existed no other measurement to gauge one’s endeavours by, and that in itself would be a terrible state of affairs if it were absent. There was a border, a line over which swung a pendulum, on one side was success, and on the other failure, and it all depended on which arc the pendulum currently travelled along that determined your outcome. She would laugh at herself at times and tell her inner self that she was being far too over-analytical and that it was not a healthy thing to indulge oneself in – it might lead to some rather odd behaviour later on in life.
Then there would be a sudden judder, a bump which would jolt her back into reality and all her fears and questions would seem a total nonsense. If she was honest with herself, then all she needed in her life was simply more excitement, and this balloon ride was just the thing to start a new tradition which she was now determined to keep up on a regular basis or be damned.
Frieda and Kathy walked toward the hot air balloon – they were both on an extended lunch break today to enjoy this experience, the balloon hovered patiently over the launching dock gently bobbing in the gentle winds. Both their faces were beaming with eagerness and anticipation as they came up alongside the balloon. The balloon pilot, with help of a portable step, helped them both climb aboard and once that was done everything was set for their ride.
With a sharp clicking noise coming from the safety bracket, the line was released and up they went skyward. Kathy looked at Frieda and smiled, she knew instinctively by the look on her face what she was thinking.
“Doing this kind of thing makes you realise just how much life is worth living, don’t you think?” Invited Kathy.
“Yes,” replied Frieda.
She kissed her friend on the cheek.
“You always seem to know what’s best for me!”