Near where the blue and green balloons rest exists a small cottage. Inside sleeps a young boy. Nudged by dawn, he rises to the sound of bird music that is periodically overwhelmed by the crowing of a rooster. His balled fists rub the sleep from his eyes as he gets up. Wandering from his bedside, he quietly walks the wooden floor with pattering steps and goes out onto the front porch. Moving into the yard, both he and the grass are washed with morning light. His pale blond hair gleams like corn silk. His belly protrudes in the way that the stomachs of small children do.
He shares this place with his older sister and mother but they are not yet awake. Their dog greets the boy with a wagging tail, that movement signaling his readiness to go and do whatever the boy wishes. They meander about the yard in random dots and dashes; an irregularity of looking and learning. With the curiosity characteristic of the open slate that is his young mind, he plays tag with the dog, makes toys of random objects, and touches everything with either his eyes or fingers.
The red ball that is the rising sun stirs the air. A breeze rocks the two resting balloons and their movement catches the boy’s attention. Any remaining sleepiness is instantly forced from his tousled head. Their presence registers as magic to his blue eyes and his mind immediately recognizes them as a gift. They become treasures he holds close forever. In weeks and years to come, he will discover additional balloons that were dispersed by the old woman in the surrounding lands.
As he walks his path, her hand provides guidance; her heart gives him courage on dark days; he feels her love when there is none other to be felt. When reassurance is necessary, he can see her in the heavens a lighthouse of hope for a young boy . . . an old man.