Today in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun appears at its highest point in the sky and daylight peaks. I always find it ironic that summer opens with a climax of daylight, which begins to ebb the very next day. But perhaps it is the best of balancing acts: as the days grow hotter through summer months, our exposure to the burning sun gradually eases.
Summer always feels full of promise. This weekend, we welcomed its nascent approach with that most summery of summertime activities, a baseball game. Our Fair City is home to the Red Sox minor league team, and we lucked out with a Father’s Day home game in our beautiful year-old stadium, on a comfortable afternoon of intermittent sunshine. Our eldest daughter joined us for a relaxing time with a great view above home plate. And we even won, 5-4!
Some people find baseball too slow. For me, especially in our hurry-up-do-it-now-before-you-miss-out society, the pace is perfect. There’s plenty of time to chat and just sit back, watch the game and all the playful side contests between innings (catch the ball and win a pie!), enjoy a ballpark snack, stretch and sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame at the seventh inning and Sweet Caroline (the Red Sox Nation anthem). I was having so much fun just hanging out with my family that I missed a few key plays, but no matter. The ninth inning packed in some real excitement, and we all had a great time.
For those few hours, I felt transported—away from all the stresses and worries of our present moment. It felt like a real mini summer vacation. I came home refreshed.
Recently I was listening to a discussion about language, how American English is full of violent metaphors to express resilience and success. A good performance is described as “killing it” or “blowing them away.” To be precise is to “nail” a presentation. We’re advised to “power through” pain or adversity, just “hang in there.” To ask someone their opinion, we say “shoot.” And that’s just a small sampling.
While baseball certainly has its own slugger language, the sport has also brought us some kinder, gentler expressions: “play ball” when it’s time to begin; “step up to the plate” to meet a challenge; bring your all when it’s “the bottom of the ninth.”
How would our world change if we framed our thoughts in baseball idioms? How would life be different if we took time to savor what’s right in front of us, enjoy the slow moments and pauses, sing and laugh more? It’s summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. No better time to find out than right now.