Anne Murray helped me with this one when she sang, “We sure could use a little good news today.”
When someone wants to honor the memory of a loved one, that’s good news. When they light candles for them, that’s good news. When they sit in a circle and sing happy songs and remember those they have lost, that is good news. When they plant a tree in memory of their loved one, that’s really good news.
To have good news, you have to have bad news. Now for the bad news; Releasing balloons is wrong.
Before letting another go, think about the birds and other animals you might kill.
Humans aren’t the only animals with families. All animals do. Even fish and they don’t want to lose their loved ones any more than you do.
Also think about it, littering is illegal. Dropping balloons is not illegal, but it is throwing garbage.
Here’s more bad news; These balloons, as bad as you want them to be, won’t go to heaven. They descend to alight in trees, streams, and on other people’s property. They do more harm than good.
Here’s another line from Anne: “It’s going to get worse, you see, we need a policy change.”
I think we need an altar call. Who will be the first to show up? Will it be a bored member? A legislator? A lawyer? A pillar of the community? Will it be China Grove, so Landis will know what to do? What about the Humane Society? Preachers want to speak? And the gang of booksellers who write letters? Are you ready to put pen to paper and launch the ban and change the policy?
Once you realize that dropping balloons has nothing to do with your religion and it’s litter it’s as simple as reaching out to accept a trophy for something you didn’t do. Then you can sing along with Dierks Bentley, “What Was I Thinkin?”
If you still don’t understand, here is a little story about a preacher and a lawn mower that might help you.
This feller kept pulling on his lawnmower and a little boy walked up to him and said, “What’s wrong sir?” Won’t this lawn mower start? The man said, “Nah! I can’t get it to start. The little boy said, “When my lawnmower doesn’t start like that, I swear.” The man said, “Ah! I am a preacher. I can’t swear.
The little boy said, “Keep pulling on that rope, it’ll come to you.”
If you still can’t understand that releasing balloons is trash, just keep shooting it, it will come to you.
For the blessing, I want to call on the great Hank Williams and use two lines from his classic song, “I’ve seen the light, now I’ve traded evil for good, praise the Lord, I’ve seen the light .”
I’m “Wishin and Hopein” that “Someday Soon” we’ll all stop singing “Up Up and Away”. And light candles, hold hands and plant trees, look up and say “I have seen the light”.
Whitey Harwood lives in Rowan County.