Our Boys of Summer, NY-Penn League Single A baseball players who are farmhands for the Detroit Tigers, arrived last night with a home opener about sixteen hours before the 'official start of summer' today at a tick past a quarter after one in the afternoon. And not a moment too soon.
I love baseball, not merely because it's about the only sport I was ever any good at, because I really wasn't (I just like to think I was) but because there are as many different ways to be a fan as there are fans of baseball. At the pro level, I am a Yankees fan and have been for just about my whole life (so far). However, I will watch anyone play anywhere at anytime.
As I said, the team at Dodd Stadium is not affiliated with the Bronx Bombers but who cares. On a good day, downhill with a following wind, I can almost remember when I was an early twenty-something so I envy the kids, and that's what they are, who've got the world by the umm, tail (in honor of the Tigers). You have to root for them because we, each in our way, have had their dream as our own.
I've reached an age where summers get here faster and leave sooner than they used to. The kids on both sides of the ball trying to make it to The Show seem to get younger as each succeeding summer arrives. I've been watching our daughter, Michelle, who used to help her dynamic though now doddering dad with his backyard garden, together with her mom this summer, take the project over entirely.
I tilled nothing. I planted nothing. I weeded nothing, The trowel, so to speak, has been passed and I thought I'd feel something. And yet, that hole in my heart is about the size you find in a bucket of water after you pull your fist out. I hope, come harvest time, I can enjoy some tomatoes and other homegrown delights, but wonder if they'll taste as great as they always did when I helped. I think I know that answer.
It's as much 'my' garden as A-Rod et al are 'My Yankees' that is, maybe not so much. But on this, the longest day of the year (there's a better phrase, I'm sure, in terms of the division of daylight and darkness) as we get to the top of the seasonal roller coaster and make sure our hands are safely inside and we have our seat belts on, it's important to recall life is still a dark ride, everyday, for all the days that remain. They take just as long if you love what you're doing or are just going through the motions so maybe we should pretend we, too, have major league delusions and that everyone has decided since it's so nice, let's play two.