Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fire in the Sky - Night Magic

The sun was going down last night and the mosquitoes were having a holiday feast. I was providing. I was headed indoors to escape them, when I looked across the road into the darkness of the park across the way and saw something I'd never seen before. The end of my day was echoing the start of my day; a synchronicity of what I had read earlier in Ray Bradbury's 'Zen in the Art of Writing'; stumbling upon a 4th of July childhood memory of Mr. Bradbury's. An excerpt:


A final memory.

Fire balloons.

You rarely see them these days, though in some countries, I hear, they are still made and filled with warm breath from a small straw fire hung beneath.

But in 1925 Illinois, we still had them, and one of the last memories I have of my grandfather is the last hour of a Fourth of July night forty-eight years ago when Grandpa and I walked out on the lawn and lit a small fire and filled the pear-shaped red-white-and-blue-striped paper balloon with hot air, and held the flickering bright-angel presence in our hands a final moment in front of a porch lined with uncles and aunts and cousins and mothers and fathers, and then, very softly, let the thing that was life and light and mystery go out of our fingers up on the summer air and away over the beginning-to-sleep houses, among the stars, as fragile, as wondrous, as vulnerable, as lovely as life itself.

I see my grandfather there looking up at that strange drifting light, thinking his own still thoughts. I see me, my eyes filled with tears, because it was all over, the night was done, I knew there would never be another night like this.


Now, in the dusk, I looked across the road and into the park and saw a man with his three kids building a small fire. Then, suddenly, the fire became a glowing orange orb lifting up into the night sky. "This is it! I'm seeing a fire balloon!" I thought to myself. "Ray Bradbury's 1925 Illinois has come alive tonight in 2010!" - and I ran to the street for a closer look. It was an incredible sight, just as he said, watching this mystery of fire rising up into the air - an unexplainable orb of fire rising, rising, rising --- higher and higher, burning as it rose till it was just a small, distant, orange dot high and far in the sky.

It truly was magical, from the sense of having never seen anything like it before, and only made sense in light of having just read earlier in the day about "fire in the sky."

Expect the unexpected.

Happy Fourth of July

love, magic, fire,
el po


rocketj said...

My son, Chris, wanted me to thank you for your encouragement to him, and he returned the good and warm wishes to you.

Perhaps you already know about this, but he also encouraged me to send you the link to Imerman's Angels, a mentoring nonprofit that links those who have had cancer with those recently diagnosed or undergoing treatment. Friends or family members can be linked up here as well with other friends/family:
Peace, El,

Stella Magdalen said...

Thanx for the other side perspective. I was at the park enjoying the fireworks and was all freaked out when someone lit a fire balloon and released it.
My paranoia and indignation instantly kicked in as I thought "what if it was my house, my stuff, that it came down upon?"
So maybe I should try to relax just a little. I never heard about any resultant fires afterwards...

tarzan said...

What a beautiful story ep! I know that being a part of it was very special to you and I can sense that. When for unknown reasons lives intermingle with others, it gives us proof that we're all interwoven as you are with Ray Bradbury because of what he wrote. I'm sure he is pleased (where ever he) is that you were able to see what he was able to see many years ago. It's a great reminder that not all unexpected events are sad ones..... :)

el poquito said...

Hey Rox/Rocky [love that squirrel], Hey to Chris. Mentoring can be a part of the path. Dropped suddenly onto the jungle floor, it's always good when your sight adjusts enough to see that many others have walked this way, left their footprints, made a path to follow out of the jungle. He's on his way. So are you. I owe a lot to those who've walked before. We all do.

Stella - bet it was the same fire balloon we saw drifting over your house. I guess awe and fear run right alongside each other, eh? Yeah, I thought this must thrill the FAA. Imagine lots of UFOs were sighted that night fire flew high in the sky. Frankly, you're just more reasonable than I am. Sorry about that. But then, when was the last time you were accused of that?!

Tarzan - yep, love it when everything aligns and the path is lit up with a spotlight. Those are the easy and fun days. Gotta make lots of those! And yeah, the shell-shocked become a bit skittish re: surprises, eh? I want to remain open for the good ones though. Lots of them.

I can handle it.


Anonymous said...

I just dropped in to catch up with you, and to see the world through beautiful Eddy eyes. Imagine my astonishment to find that you are talking about one of my favorite collections of essays on writing...

I bought it a long time ago, and now, want to read it all over again.

On the 4th I was at Batchawana Bay, driving down a dusty road underneath a gray sky. I looked up, and unbidden, not even in wish, I saw my first bald eagle. I'm amazed...and grateful. I love you, Eddy.


el poquito said...

Thanks, C. for taking me to the far North Country - to Lake Superior, eagles, pristine water, ancient land. Makes ya feel tiny, don't it?

You oughta see it on a high wind, stormy day. Those folks and critters are rugged up there! Special, special place. Thanks for coming by here and dropping off a taste.

and yes, RBradury is a great example for a pyro [on all levels]. He turns 90 very soon. It surprises him, also.

lakshmi said...

How lovely. A beautiful moment shared yet again through your eyes and your words. :) and <3

susan/mom/ gramma said...

thank you for sharing this beauty in the night skies... very moving!It would be an amazing experience to send all those lanterns up together... a bringing together of the people... united!