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Hot Air Balloon at Carolina Balloon Fest


Idon’t know about you, but as the year’s pass, I find myself discovering new things that fascinate me. I have noticed that I am becoming more captivated with what seems to me to be the playful nature of the moon.

I think it all started a few years ago when I visited the Carolina Balloon Fest in Statesville, North Carolina, that is held every October. There is also an October Balloon Festival in Anderson. Both events offer opportunities to book flights.

I try to take a flight every year or so. I have been fortunate to do so for the past several years. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about taking a flight in something with no motor and total reliance on the wind. But after meeting an experienced pilot and learning about how it all works and the number of people involved with the process, I was ready to go up and give it a try, and I’m sure glad that I did.

It was on that ride, while calmly drifting over picturesque pastures with grazing cattle and trees starting to show fall color, that I noticed the moon. I had seen the moon in the day many times, but this time it seemed larger than normal, and I saw a great opportunity to take a picture with the moon and a hot air balloon appearing side by side.

In the time it took me to get my camera out and affix the right lens, the opportunity had passed, but I knew if I were patient it might come back.

If I didn’t know better, it was like the moon had decided to play a game of hide and seek. That perfect shot did not appear again on that day, but as I put my camera away, I let the moon know that there would be another day.

And so, it’s gone over the past few years. In my many travels, I have often played hide and seek with the moon. The countryside and mountain drives are the most exciting because it is then that the moon can be on the right side, then the left side, and then straight ahead, and all within a short distance.

I realize that the turning roads are part of creating this visual experience. I also choose to imagine that now and then the moon decides to let me catch it and politely allows me the time to pull over to the side of the road and have a good look, and sometimes I get a picture.

No matter how close we seem to get, the game is soon back on. I was visiting Ocracoke Island not so long ago, and it was the night of the Blood Moon. I was prepared to capture a great image, and then with the camera on a tripod and ready to go, it was as if on cue, the clouds rolled in.

I could not help but laugh. How in the world could I miss something so big and magnificent?

I looked up and said, OK, you win again, and then the clouds rolled away for a few moments, and I captured some good pictures. And so, it went for a few hours.

I’ve come to understand that a relationship with the moon is just that way. You’ve got to be flexible and understanding.

I’m sure that the moon has always been there patiently waiting for me to notice. It just took me a while to slow down and look up without rushing.

I suppose it’s that way with all our meaningful relationships. A bit of amazement and a willingness not to give up.

Carl White is the executive producer and host of the award winning syndicated TV show “Carl White’s Life In the Carolinas.” The weekly show is in its seventh year of syndication and can be seen in the Greenville, Spartanburg viewing market on WLOS ABC 5 a.m. Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. Sundays at WMYA My 40. Visit www.lifeinthecarolinas.com, email White at Carl@lifeinthecarolinas.com.