Thursday, March 29, 2007
This time of year always makes me miss being a part of a softball team.
From 3rd grade through 12th grade I played faithfully, mixing with girls both above me and below me in the small town caste system we created for ourselves.
Though all of my years were special, the ones spent in high school really stay with me. Yes, it was more serious and our stats meant more. But I think mostly I enjoyed it because by then, we were little adults who formed their own opinions, had our own quirks and appreciated life for different reasons.
I've talked often about my love of the earth defrosting, the birds peeking their little beaks back into our world, filling our ears with their joyful songs and chatter. These things all mean spring to me. But something is always missing.
I miss the smell of the dirt on the diamond-the dust that always coated my hands after practice. I miss the smell of the cold leather of my glove, the bruise that stayed on my left hand the entire season from my short stops forceful throw.
I miss the smell on my skin after hours of being in the cold spring air, slightly salty from my sweat, but clean from the breeze that drifted through the apple orchard that lined the field.
And of course, there are the sounds...
The crack of the bat, the thump of the ball as it hit my glove-the laughter. I even miss the sound the batting cage made from the rainy days spent inside, sliding on the smooth tile floors in sweatpants and socks.
Yes, those days were special and always, in the first months of spring, my heart still anticipates my time on the field, playing a game I will always love.