"OH, THE SITES THAT WE GET TO SEE"...
...when we're not in such a hurry! by Darin Selby
by Darin Selby
Well, it all started one morning when I woke up out of a dream,
To hear some folks singing & bells going riNG-RING-RIng!
Throwing off the covers, to the window I leap,
What was all this singing and ringing about that woke me out of my sleep?
I was amazed and bedazzled at the contraption that was rolling by.
It looked like an ornate gypsy wagon against the clear blue sky!
This carriage was balanced on two wheels; gently rocking up and down.
A tall coachman way up at the front of it was pulling it all around!
There were people in the back of it singing, as happy as they could be.
Doing a 'teeter-totter' balance with that tall, bearded man, you see!
He kinda hopped when he moved it, like he was walking on the moon.
Sitting in the back as a counterweight, they sang that catchy tune!
One thing very different was that their carriage wasn't going very fast.
Unlike the noisy speedisters zooming by belching out lots of smelly gas!
Frantically, I jumped into my coveralls and slipped on my old Birkenstocks.
"Hmmm, it's kinda chilly today. I'd better put on some extra thick socks."
I looked back out of my window and by now they had vanished out of sight.
I could still hear bells ringing, and voices singing, up past the old town stoplight.
I swung open the door and out into the front yard I went.
"Is there a parade in town"? ('cause it all looked like a, colorful rolling tent!)
I flippity-flopped down the street, as fast as my old Birkenstocks would go.
If this was some kind of traveling caravan, I didn't want to be late for the show!
I flippity flopped n floppity-flipped up to the end of the route.
Here were some interesting folks that I just had to find out more about!
My mother used to tell me, while busy in the kitchen...and I was right under foot.
"You'd better skedaddle right on out of here before I give you the boot!"
That word has stuck with me all of these years describing the motion done with one's feet.
And y'know, its exactly what this fella's doing, with a hop inbetween...well, that's just plain NEAT!
If I recall, he skedaddled first and then he hopped, doing a kind of 'moonwalk' dance.
That's what he's cartin' around, a 'skedaddlehopper'! It's so obvious now, even at first glance!
I finally caught a glimpse of their carriage. It was still way up ahead on the street.
But...WHAT WAS THAT THING FLOATING DOWN FROM THE SKY? My heart must've skipped a beat!
It was a big spinning balloon of some sort that had a long & twisty tail.
Below it hung a smallish red tank. I stopped my flip-floppiting; feeling just a little bit pale.
I watched from a distance as this big balloon and carriage became one.
I just HAD to try to meet these folks who were having so much fun!
So again I flip-floppity ran; trying hard to pick up the pace.
If only I could at least say hello before they floated off from that place!
As I approached the spinning balloon, a large crowd had gathered 'round.
A buzz of excitement in the air, & word was spreading fast through the town!
The tall, bearded coachman, who had piloted the balancing carriage,
Said to all who had gathered 'round, "We're about to float over to yonder ledge".
He pointed off in the distance to a hill that was pretty far away.
"We'll come back around here tomorrow...if not, it'll be the next day!"
Upward it all gracefully floated with only a slight whirring sound. .
We all watched it get smaller, all standing there...sort of spellbound!
Sure enough, just as he said, over to that distant hill they floated.
It then became the topic of conversation with many townspeople, I noted!
The way they went on, they might as well have been 'DaVincis' or some other inventors.
One thing's for sure, they definitely were some kind of new idea-presenters!
I went on back home; determined to find where I put my old telescope.
"Maybe it'll give me a view of the ledge where they will land that thing, I hope?"
As I looked through the eyepiece toward the ledge it finally came sharply into view.
But...what was this already up there: A BIG TENT! ...and its roof started opening up, too!
It sorta reminded me of petals on a flower that were blossuming to the morning sunlight.
That ballooncraft floated down gently inside...then it all closed back up nice and tight!
Wow! What a way to live and be; just floatin' here and there while you roam!
Touch down, skedaddlehop through a town, with a balloon waitin' to take you back home!
Why, it just dawned on me that these folks don't even need a road to their place!
They could even float back here to town for an all-star 'skedaddlehopper's footrace'!
Yes! That's it! Well...if they did do that, there obviously needs to be more than one.
A 'Skedaddlehopper' factory is in order, so that all sorts of folks could have some fun!
Of coarse, there'd have to be BIG ones, little ones and medium-sized ones too.
One model might even float on the water to become a 'ballooncraft switcheroo'!
Children could learn how to 'skedaddlehop' around too,
And have fun carrying their friends, just like the grown-ups do.
They may even have on their carriages a little wind-up spot;
To go up hills while pulling their friends around & what not.
Before embarking out on a long and adventurous trip,
All the kids could pedal and wind up a coiled metal strip!
Oh, it might take, with just a few youngsters pitching in,
About fifteen minutes to wind up one spring-powered engine!
But once its all wound, just imagine all the fun they could do -
Speeding up one hill to then get wound up going back down it, too!
By the end of the day, with all of this winding-unwinding going on in the providence,
People would summon their floating, parked balloons, and float up & away to their tents!
I would say that these balloons could all be different-looking and unique.
One person has a big 'owl' floating by, while another is a 'dolphin'; very sleek!
Folks then would get to pick the right style ballooncraft of their choice.
"Would you care for an econo-model?...or maybe the deluxe, 'Rolls Royce'?"
Everything's made with special modern materials that use only 'above-ground' stuff.
The fabric's woven strong with a plant-plastic string that turns out to be really tough!
But...how do the balloons fill up...and where does he get his energy?
I have so many questions to ask of him, wouldn't you agree?
How does he get his water? Is there some kind of high-mountain spring?
Does he have a big pile of trash somewhere...or does he recycle everything?
What if he has to pack up and move? Does he lug around a lot of extra stuff?
Does it all become some kind of 'ballooncraft train'...would three balloons be enough?
Alright, I just can't wait any longer, so I'm packing a lunch and hiking up that hill!
If I tarry here for them to float back down, all of their time would other people fill!
When I was growing up, my mother used to say to me, "He who hesitates is lost!"
...Oh yes, that reminds me, take a compass & (burrr) extra-thick socks for the frost!
Onward and upward I hike...hmmm...now did I possibly forget anything?
Whew!...Well, if I did...even a small jar with a lid...I'd need 'backpack scaffolding'!
Huff...puff..I'm almost there...just stay on course...it's only a little further!
Oh, the things that I do (sometimes so impromptu) to be a 'pioneer adventurer'!
Ugh..one foot in front of the other...There it is...finally! The big yurt-style tent!
With sounds of music going on, my arduous trip to get up here has been well-spent!
Brrrrr, up at this elevation it was extra chilly, and fairly windy, on this brisk autumn day.
Oh, that's how he makes energy...two 'windspinner' balloons that are twirling happily away!
Several were rotating off conductive tethers, connecting them down to the ground.
Generators were sandwiched inbetween the spinning balloons. How simple, yet how profound!
As I was huff-puff a-walking and looking up in awe at a 'windspinner' machine,
I tripped over cords going to a smallish clear dome...inside of it was all gooey green!
Well, to say the least, my fall with my load had made quite a noisy disturbance.
Out bounds that tall, bearded man, and SURPRIZE was written all over his countenance!
He helps me to get off my extra-heavy rucksack,
Then invites me in to get warm and just kick back.
He offers me a drink of water from a hanging amphora,
Then gives me a sweater to wear made out of 'angora'.
Well, I look around, take a deep breath & say 'hi' to guests that were there.
What a place this was, all the comforts of home...and pillows to sit on everywhere!
There it was, the skedaddlehopper that I saw in the town; sitting smack-dab in the middle.
Looming above it was that huge balloon (how it all worked was still quite a riddle)!
They didn't say too much - instead waiting for me to speak.
I noticed a 'lumpy, bumpy' telescope pointed skyward from the peak
It had a long, twisty tube coming out & going down into an amphora that was swinging.
I asked what this all did to the water I just drank? He said, "Awakening vibrations it was bringing"!
Around the room sat shining glass eggs that gave off an eerie luminescence.
They tipped them to and fro to charge them up; causing a glowing phosphorescence!
I was given a tall cup-full of some tasty thick green goo, & told to sip it slow.
Also some cake-like bread made from sprouted organically grown wheat dough!
After a while the tall bearded man said that it was about time to prepare & take flight -
Go down into town; 'skedaddlehop' around, and then try to make it back before night.
So with that they all started pedaling a simple wind-up apparatus.
It's the engine to propel their ballooncraft through the cover of foggy stratus.
I was amazed that some contraptions beforehand I had imagined correct!
He said it was the 'Universal Mind' giving back our human-powered self-respect!
He DID like the name I had given to his chariot (calling it a 'skedaddlehopper' and such).
He asked me would I mind if he adopted it, because it added quite a nice, descriptive touch!
I said, 'For sure! I'd be honored to have you call it that!
I'm glad to help out anyway I can to the overall general format!'
"It's time to board the carriage, release the winch & make sure we're weatherproof!
Oh, yes! One more thing that we need to do...we'd better open the roof!"
He pressed what looked like to me a simple garage door opener.
Whirring sounds began, and I finally become a ballooncraft voyageur!
I must say, it was pretty amazing seeing that roof get opener from inside.
The sunlight shone in around that massive balloon; as the roof triangles opened wide.
Slowly upward we all floated with the greatest of ease; up and away from the tent.
That same button was pushed once again and a roof closer-upper signal was sent.
I was shown where to help pedal and we descended down through the foggy mist.
As the clouds all cleared, I must say that I felt just a little weird; being this ballooncraft cyclist!
He piloted it down, over and around to an area with a clear and safe landing zone.
One pull of a lever, a connection he did sever of the balloon from our rolling 'environmental throne'.
I learned so much in the short time that we had traveled.
In our conversation - many spiritual mysteries were unravelled.
He said, "It doesn't matter what the appearances round about are like.
Changing our concept of who we are, we tell that self-defeating 'inner talk' to take a hike!
"Don't try to change people living here or afar.
"They are only messengers that are telling us who we really are!
"There is nothing to be 'worked out' first, because it's feeling that's the secret.
"So, as we imagine ourselves ALREADY being and having we eliminate any so-called threat!
"We can sometimes be such a slave to time that, when we have imagined things true,
"If they don't immediately show up in our world, we go right back to being blue.
"'Wait but a little while' is the amount of time needed to prepare a glorious 'mansion'.
"How it's all realized is beyond us finding out; our self-confidence hastens the expansion!
"Doubt is the only force capable of disturbing many a 'cosmic seed'.
"We must frequently give to them our attention for this is the 'water' that they need.
"The one who's not thankful for all the good things acquired,
"Is likely to find out that this abundant source has suddenly expired!"
When he told me this, I had to re-think my old job & me thinking everything as being 'all worked out'.
"One good example of what you're saying, 'Plastic fantastic makes some people scream and shout!
"This is because we don't really think about what it's all doing to our place.
"So, 'Pass the plasticwrap, if you please, and bury that old stuff; to look at it's such a disgrace!
"'We got a business to run...no time for fussin' and fightin'.
"We got bills to pay, no time for belts to tighten!
"Our kids are on their own, they'll have to work out the mess.
"How to deal with what we've created?...too much to think about, we must confess!
They told of a community that supported what they did.
Not well known, because they were out in the rolling countryside; very well hid!
Though, their doors were always open to any wayfaring traveler;
Who perhaps would like to stay on and pitch in; maybe resting from being a wonderer.
Due to the industrious hard work of all the people living there,
Now this dream is being shared abroad with folks living everywhere!