Softball is many things. Today, softball is a bird chirping.
I awoke this morning to the sounds of birds chirping. It’s a sound I know well. It signals the change of the seasons. When I heard them, they were spring. In my life, spring means the start of softball season. It’s what I’ve known for 20 years. This morning, hearing them, they triggered something unique in my heart. They reminded me of a part of my life that’s become lost to me. Full of rituals. Full of routines. This morning, I was reminded of one in particular…
Early mornings, I would rise in anticipation of another day of practice or a game. I’d watch the horizon slowly change. First, it would shade me grey, then, slowly, I would become pink as the sun would climb.
The smell of the dirt and the grass would walk its way into my nose, and then burrow into my heart.
The dew would sprinkle the grass, and it would sparkle like the diamond it outlined.
And birds would chirp.
We’d be trudging our equipment to the field where we’d sit in the damp grass, putting on our cleats, still raw from last night’s game. We’d talk mostly softball, or boys. Who am I kidding? No. We’d talk mostly food.
Still, birds would chirp.
We’d stretch our legs and feel the warm sun heat the turf field. It would bake our backs like sand on the beach.
Meanwhile, birds would chirp.
The birds chirping this morning brought me back to that time where softball rituals started each morning. Where chirping meant spring, and where spring meant softball.
If someone asked me if I missed it I would lie and say “Yes.” But “yes” can’t capture the truth. It can’t explain everything that’s missing now that it’s gone. Fortunately, softball is many things.
Today, softball is a bird chirping.