In just a couple of days, Saturday morning to be exact, I am slated to walk in the Festival of the Whales parade with my teenage daughters, Marissa and Alison. We volunteered to help carry the large balloons down the parade route as part of our National Charity League service hours. It’s something we’ve done every year since joining the chapter, and it has become something of a tradition for us.
It’s not easy to guide those balloons down the parade route. It can get pretty sketchy dodging the various traffic signals, street lights and trees along the way. Add some wind to the mix, and it really gets dicey. However, they assign someone from the balloon company to escort us down the parade route (to make sure we don’t inadvertently destroy the balloon – those things are expensive!) so we always manage to survive our adventure.
So here we are… gearing up for this year’s parade, which seems to be offering something new: rain. Lots of rain, according to the forecasts that Alison has been monitoring like this really is the storm of the century! I am grateful for the rain, and do not wish it away, but I’ll admit, the timing is inconvenient. They tell us the parade goes on rain or shine, so I’m looking forward to see how they’ll do this. I am, however, even more interested in how the three of us have responded to the prospect of carrying the balloon in the rain…
“Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor Frankl
Alison plans to strike a deal with the cosmos. It is her intention that the heavens will part and the rain will cease for the duration of the parade. I am totally on board with that, however, I must confess, I feel the need to leave nothing to chance. I have been digging out the foul weather gear and trying to figure out how I can carry an umbrella without damaging the balloon. I welcome the rain, because I know we need it, but I want to stay warm and dry during the parade. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Marissa has embraced the whole adventure. Her only concern is that she hopes they will let us carry the eagle again this year, because it was particularly challenging last time. (It was rather windy, and our crew struggled to control the balloon. As if on cue, the eagle balloon took a nosedive as we passed the announcer’s booth, prompting him tell the crowd, “The eagle has landed.” Our crew was mortified, but it was funny!)
Hopefully, we will be greeted by sunshine breaking through the clouds. Regardless, my water polo playing daughters don’t mind getting wet (that would be me), but I’m going to pack some rain gear in the car. Just in case they decide that warm and dry is nice, too.
Rain or shine, the three of us will be there Saturday morning, each with our own perspective on how the rain affects our experience.
In every situation we are at choice.