You have probably seen it.
I sat glued to the television for nearly 45 minutes along with another 8 million enthralled viewers and YouTube numbers are clicking over into the hundreds of thousands as I type. A man. Jumping out of a hot air balloon. From a long, long, long way up in the air, so far in fact, that he had left the air behind!
It has been a long time since I truly “marveled” at something. Various dictionaries refer to “wonder” and “astonishment” in their definitions and at once I completely agree. I was full of wonder. I was astonished. This was something I had never seen before – that no-one had ever seen before. I vividly remember the first time I watched the footage of the August 16, 1960 moment when Joe Kittinger climbed over the edge of his balloon gondola and dropped from 31 kilometers above the Earth’s surface and remember finding it equally as marvelous, wonderful and astonishing. I could talk about nothing else for days.
And this morning as I rode with my cycling buddies on our regular morning ride what were we all talking about? Yep, Mr Baumgartner!
What if he had drifted too far into the stratosphere and had simply floated, suspended in zero gravity after stepping from the safety of his capsule? What if he had run out of oxygen? What if he had passed out during the free fall? We were alive with 23.5km of comments and questions and what ifs and almost didn’t notice the 34˚C enveloping us as we pedaled.
And now as I sit, recovering from the 23.5km with a delightfully cool bottle of water in my hands, I am pondering why “marvelous” has only now decided to pay a visit. Why has “marvelous” been out on the road, visiting others and leaving the coat hook in my entrance hall empty. What is it about my day to day meanderings that has caused our paths to cross so infrequently? And more to the point, what can I serve up on a Friday night that will entice “marvelous” to visit more often?
I’m not sure I know the answer, but maybe just the acknowledgement that I need to have the welcome mat out more often, to have my eyes open in expectation and to have a ready seat at the table will be enough to find “marvelous” ringing the door bell.