Saturday, February 6, 2010

be the light

So the players are showing up in Jupiter, ready to begin workouts and practices. The sun shines down on them as they run around in shorts and shirt-sleeves, gulping water out of plastic bottles. Sunglasses and baseball caps protect their eyes from the glare. Laughter and friendly shouts across the field announce each new arrival. They toss balls back and forth. They take light-hearted swings. They race to the clubhouse. They play, like the boys of summer they are, and prepare for the real "work" to begin.

Thinking about sunshine and batting practice and warm air makes me, well, really really depressed.

See, here in the Midwest, snow is piled up on every surface. Winter wind keeps us holed up in our houses, and our only respite is the brief glimpses of Spring Training we get by reading the reports out of camp. We shovel off the sidewalk and the driveway, and (unless we're lucky enough to have a garage) dig our cars out from under a snow bank. We trudge off to work. We shiver and pull our hoods down closer to our faces. We stare out the window at the blanket of white covering everything in sight, and we daydream about the return of green grass. We think about baseball and wrap our hands around hot mugs of coffee. We reminisce about summer nights at the ballpark and hot dogs and cold beer and fireworks and Fredbird. 

They say you need some darkness in order to really appreciate the light, and maybe we wouldn't appreciate baseball as much without the winter break. Then again, I'm willing to find out. How about you?