I don’t know why I overlooked the most serene moment of my life when I started on my former blog about this subject. Maybe it was because the images to go with it are not very spectacular; certainly they don’t convey the calmness of the moment, the sense of absolute peace and tranquility, and the near total silence we experienced.
The occasion was a balloon flight over the vineyards and fincas of the wine-growing area of Rioja in Spain. We began our ascent as dawn was breaking bathing our world in a warm pinkish glow as we rose into the sky watching fields and houses below diminish in size minute by minute. Initial trepidation dissipated as soon as we started our flight and the beauty and joy of the morning filled us with awe. For once I felt at one with nature, not in the way I had done when out walking in the mountains or swimming with dolphins, but a feeling of really being part of this marvellous planet of ours.
Up and up we went right into clouds which deadened what little sound there had been up until then. it was totally eerie, chilly and white.
Then the pilot motioned ahead and there it was, the photo I would have died for if I’d known when on the ground that I would actually see it, our balloon shadowed on the cloud in front of us, faint but very obviously there. The moment was too precious to grab for a camera and start focusing, so in a sort of reflex action, I just clicked on the little camera I carry for emergencies like this, and here it is. My only image from my time in the clouds when I really knew the meaning of Serenity.