One of our favorite family activities is watching the annual sunrise balloon launch at the Adirondack Balloon Festival. There are few things that motivate me to be up before the sun. Easter morning. All-nighters. Road trips. Hot air balloons. That’s pretty much it. This week we happened to be in the Saratoga region during the first ever balloon fest at the Saratoga Fairgrounds. Friday night we went to the Balloon Glow, where a field of tethered balloons are inflated and illuminated at dusk. We ran into cousins and ordered crêpes and it seemed the sun could not set fast enough. Evening was cool and windy and we were drawn to the heat of the roaring burners. Life has been hectic and it was a relief to be in a crowd of quiet strangers, everyone gazing together. We stayed until the balloons were deflated around us, the silky fabric billowing and sounding like wind rustling leaves. The girls tiptoed away from the collapsing softness big as buildings. Brushed the colors with their fingertips. Summer arrived on an eve of illumination.