Flying today seems like a beautiful experience that allows you to explore that sky is the limit. However, sometimes we forget that similar to the sky, there is no limit to the human exploration and what we are capable of.
Lt us understand this through some story books.
In 1783, when proclaimed Dr Alexander Charles landed from the first manned balloon flight before a stunned Benjamin Franklin, his first words were
I am finished with the Earth. From now on our place is in the sky!
Since then an Italian had flown, a Scot had flown, a woman had flown, even a sheep had flown. The one journey to remember was in 1785, where two passengers were flown from one country to another.
In 1785, in an attempt to experience the incredible air balloon flight, Blanchard and Jeffries climbed on their hot air. Along with the tough environment and technical difficulties, the one major thing that hampered their flight was their personal issue: they couldn’t stand one other.
The two hours forty-seven minutes journey became a groundbreaking victory, as they not only finished their one of a kind experience but also overcame their disagreements and landed as friends.
This entire journey has very beautifully been written by Baltimore based writer Matthew Olshan and illustrated with wonderful art by Sophie Blackall, which adds a humane dimension to this human achievement in A Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Balloon Flight in 1785.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.Leonardo da Vinci
A Voyage in the Clouds: Sky is the limit
The journey begins with an excited Jeffries all dressed up and ready to begin, goes to wake up Blanchard, his companion, to find that the Frenchman is already ready to begin by filling up the balloon and also summoned a band to drum up the occasion.
Olshan, makes this journey interesting by taking a few inventive liberties, amusing the audience with Bulldogs accompanying their respective owners.
The journey progresses with Blanchard breaking the bad news to Jeffries that the balloon can only bear the weight of one man, so only he must take to the sky as the pilot. However, Jeffries had planned his trip previously carrying a violin, a bow, a roast chicken, a bottle of whisky. WIth arithmetic Jeffries discovers that Blanchard used a trick to not take him for the trip, and wore a lead-lined vest to raise his weight.
Knowing that his trick was out in the open, Blanchard starts the voyage with Jeffries, along with their mutual detestation.
They bring out the feat, and start individually experiencing the pleasure of flying. Before they could start their quibble and bring out their dislike for each other, Jeffries decides to release some gas from the exceptionally huge balloon. In doing so, he instead unscrews the entire valve.
With a hiss, the balloon starts to shrink. Blanchard immediately refastens the valve, but the balloon had started its descend. To prevent the balloon from completely touching the ground, they both start throwing their belongings to lightne the weight.
Out goes the sacks of sand, then the violin, then even the gold tassels decorating the basket. with a heavy heart they had too thrown their natural flags too. What was now left was them to throw away their clothes, and witness each other as a fellow human.
Time to put on our cork jackets,” said Blanchard.
“Oops,” said Jeffries. “I seem to have thrown mine overboard.”
“Then I’ll throw mine away, too.”
Jeffries looked at Blanchard. Blanchard looked at Jeffries.
“Call me John.”
“Call me Jean-Pierre.”
They shook hands.
The balloon again took to the skies and made a dramatic landing on the French coast, until Jeffries wrapped his arm around a branch and Blanchard releases the gas.
While the balloon journey was a heroic act for the spectators, it surely unified humankind. Thus, Jeffries and Blanchard have completed the first international trip, half-naked, damaged, but befriended.
Though a children’s book, which surely makes you laugh, the book hits a deeper connection as it acknowledges the one truth that we all tend to ignore ‘ We are all humans’.
We might be of a different races, colour, gender, sexuality and more. However, beneath the fancy layered clothes, we are the same body and the same person.
The Sky Is the Limit: A Celebration of All the Things You Can Do
Another book that shows us that we can do whatever we set our heart on is ‘The Sky is the Limit. Lisa Swerling writes an encouraging ode to all the delightful, triumphant, silly, and sweet experiences that lie just ahead. The only thing needed to begin this marvellous adventure? YOU!
A world full of wonder is waiting for you . . . the sky is the limit of what you can do!
This gift-y picture book celebrates life’s most memorable moments. From far-reaching initiatives to quieter milestones that have their own charms. This urges readers to aspire for the limits of the sky and it’s worth of possibilities.
A world full of wonder is waiting for you…
The sky is the limit of what you can do
There are roads to be travelled,
and dreams to unfold,
magic to conjure, and tales to be told.
Causes to work for, and letters to write
stars to sleep under, friends to hold tight.
Lives to imagine, and hands to be held,
Poems to whisper and songs to be yelled.
Lessons to learn, and books to be read,
each holding a glimse of what lies ahead.
On land and by air, and in dreams that come true
with blue skies and sunshine
This World Awaits You…
This playful rhyming poem celebrates life’s most meaningful moments, while encouraging readers to grasp a sky’s worth of possibilities. From over-the-top endeavours to quieter milestones that have their own magic.
The sky is the limit, that we are still exploring to find new realities and dreams that we are still unaware. The horizon from the sky makes you realised the vastness that lies ahead of us and how if we too start looking at ourselves from the horizon, there is nothing in this world we cannot achieve.