It’s hard to believe that such a prevalent symbol for the modern Thanksgiving once held a really meaningful message, far beyond the advertising and crowds away from their homes. For the first four years, when the parade ended, balloon handlers would let the balloons go. They released the ropes they held, and watched them ascend into the sky. Each had a patch offering a reward for the person who found the deflated balloons. According to Smithsonian Magazine, this tradition ended when a pilot tried to catch one of the balloons with her plane, and nearly crashed because it wrapped around her wing.
Think about something that’s bothering you. Maybe it’s a thorny issue between family members, or a grief or grievance long past and out of your control. Consider releasing it into the sky this Thanksgiving, or onto the page. Let the ropes go.