This weekend Canberra is celebrating her 100th birthday, with concerts and art installations and activities all over town to mark the occasion, capped off with a Canberra Day holiday on Monday. It's a fantastic time to be here (and, if you're wondering, March is a really lovely late-summer/early-fall time to visit).
When I got up this morning I forgot about all that, though. It was early on a Saturday morning. I rolled out of bed, still rumpled and bleary eyed, and (grumpily-reluctantly-begrudgingly) set out to go walking/running. I pulled the door shut behind me, looked up and saw this amazing scene (captured with my trusty iphone):
Hello, balloon eclipse! There were at least 25 balloons landing around the lake and no less than six landing in our field. (There was even a Darth Vader-shaped one that made me laugh, especially since that's exactly the sound the balloons make.) It was stunning and felt like such a blessed way to start the day. (Also, what if I hadn't gotten up? What if I'd missed it??)
As I walked around the lake, there was palpable glee on the faces of the bikers, the rowers, the runners, and the plodders like me as balloons quietly and gracefully alighted in unexpected places all around us. Everyone smiled and "good morning"ed. It was a community of delight.
It was in that setting that I heard this On Being podcast with Kevin Kling. The whole thing is remarkable--and it fueled my walk to 1.5 hours, I was loving it so much! Kevin, a wise and funny storyteller and survivor, was born with a disabled left arm and then later lost the use of his right arm in a motorcycle accident that nearly killed him--or maybe it did, in a sense. A modern day Lazarus.
The interview touched on imperfection and loss and change and growth and rebirth. Here are a couple of short (each under 2 minutes) clips that I think you'll really like. Maybe someone else out there needs to hear them as much as I did:
Walking around that setting with these words in my ears? I feel like a new person.