Her name was Meadow, though she’d never seen one. She dreamed of one day finding a meadow, having a picnic, and feeling at home there. Until then life was about food, clothing, and shelter, and a green balloon.
Meadows don’t have boundaries or edges. They’re wide open to the sky above and flat to the ground. They don’t seek company. They wait for folks to discover them and their wildflowers. Some people do. Some people run over them without even noticing the meadow they are trampling. The name was well-chosen for this little girl.
The world couldn’t see that then. Neither could Meadow. Meadow thought she was like the green balloon.
Because she thought it, it was true.
Meadow didn't tell anyone, but she kept her problems in that green balloon. She also tucked in the bad feelings that problems bring with them. She knew that way the bad things always were contained. She thought that meant she’d be safe and never be hurt. She didn’t know that other feelings were trapped in there too − good feelings − feelings about believing, knowing, trusting, and . . . just being, the right to be boring.
So the balloon became part of her. Meadow tied it to her wrist the way children do. She started to think of herself as the girl with the green balloon. The world thought it curious that she never let go of her balloon, not ever.
Meadow held onto that balloon even when it meant letting go of living life. When she couldn’t get the balloon through a door, she wasn’t invited to the party. She couldn’t go lots of places or do lots of things because of the balloon and what was inside it. When the balloon got in the way, she could not let go of it. So the world let go of her.
Meadow, the girl with the green balloon, felt alone left behind.
Then someone asked her, “What do you keep that silly balloon for?”
She told him.
“Why would you do that? Those problems are over. You're grown now, if they happen again, you'd know what to do. Imagine if you had your feelings inside you.”
All Meadow had to do was untie the string and let the balloon go.
It seems so simple.
It was. I did it.
−me strauss Letting me be