I've never been a summer person. But there's just been something special about this spring.
Maybe it was the relentless cruelty of the winter that has just ended; it seemed like we got two feet of snow every third day, and the temperature was routinely hovering just above Absolute Zero, with a wind chill of negative infinity.
But today and yesterday, as Mother Nature has swung capriciously from Worst PMS Ever to Glowing Post-Coital Smile, I've found myself charmed by the weather despite myself.
Even the air this spring seems ripe with implications; memories are striking me out of thin air at random, of this or that summer, this or that trip to the beach, this or that old song. It's hard for me to sleep at night for all the remembering and imagining I'm doing.
Against this buzzing backdrop, the Red Sox played a game last night against the Toronto Blue Jays that the papers tell me was a loss...but it feels like quite the opposite.
First, there was the revitalized Manuel, who ripped a behemoth of a two-run homer over everything.
Just now, as I was watching the video file over at redsox.com, was the first time I'd actually seen the home run. Up until now, I had only gotten word-of-mouth descriptions, people using excited words like "hammered" "jerked" "smacked" "monster shot" "rainbow"...
I had heard the call by Joe Castiglione during game highlights on the radio-- twice, actually--this morning. "Oh, is this one crushed..." Castiglione gasps just after you hear the crack of Manny's bat.
Now that I've watched it, the legend of this home run passed through the oral tradition made it that much sweeter to watch, especially on the second angle the video clip shows, where the camera pans up, up, up, until there's nothing but blue sky in view, just to follow it.
A view like that, the ball's beside the point, isn't it?
What if the baseball's just a way to get us to notice that blue color, the warm air, the sweet tangy smell of dirt? Or to imagine it, if we weren't there--to get those who were there to tell the story, the way people have since they were dragging carcasses back to a campfire on the Serengeti, words and gestures and wide-eyed expressions to tell the incredible tale of the mighty hunters...
Thank God for baseball. That's all there is to it. Just thank God for it; today it feels like the noblest tradition the human species has ever instituted.
And then after night fell--night, now, a langorous affair, in stark contrast to the dull drop of winter's curtain--that bang-bang play by Varitek at the plate; the Shakespearean irony of the ensuing run-scoring single; the intrigue of this season's inaugural round of the Second-Guess the Manager Game...
What did we lose, exactly?