There’s a wonderul and exciting feeling that a little girl experiences when she gets a shiny balloon tethered to a string and put into the palm of her hand. She is held in a bit of awe and wonder at just how beautifully and magically this balloon floats and follows her wherever she goes. How does it do that? The girl questions her own gravity and dreams of this balloon carrying them high into the sky, into the clouds, and forever floating together and experiencing the world.
The little girl eventually learns that if you leave the balloon without a hold on it—it will stray. This frustrates her because she would like to be able to go and play and come back to this balloon without worry. Not only does she discover that the balloon needs to constantly be re-filled but she also discovers that when that string leaves her hand and the balloon floats away, that getting it back isn’t so easy. It can feel overwhelming and tiresome to constantly have to watch over this balloon because the girl can’t trust that without her firm grasp that it won’t float away.
Eventually, of course, as the story goes, the little girl loses her grip on the string and the balloon floats away. She chases the balloon and desperately tries to reach and grasp for it and sadly it is just beyond her reach. She feels like it's a cruel joke because even though she can see it, she cant stop it from leaving her. She watches the distance between her and her beloved balloon grow and grow until it dissapears into the horizon. The little girl watches it float away forever…heartbroken and feeling abandoned… forgetting that what goes up, must always come down.
The moral of the story? Perhaps balloons aren’t the best to play with if you want something with longevity. The balloon won’t float with her forever, it will either deflate or it will fly away. It's not sustainable. There are other ways to play that don’t require so much air or holding on. Some things can stay; some things share the same gravity as her and can last with her for a very very long time. The little girl learned that you can enjoy a balloon but you have to keep in mind that it is just for a little while.