Opening day in baseball is one of those joyous occasions that almost entirely lack any long-term meaning. It is a day to live in the moment because there are 161 more days that will make you weep, fall into despair, leap for joy and wonder why you are following your team. Yesterday was one of the good ones and made me appreciate that even a moment without long term meaning can lift your soul and make life a joy.
It works out like golf really. You can duff your way around a course, losing balls and traipsing through weeds to hit shots that would fly better if you just got out a hammer and hit with that. Then, that one glorious moment happens and you watch a ball fly, climbing to the sky, and see it land softly on the green just like it seems to do every time for the PGA crowd. That joy – short-lived and meaningless for the long term – lifts you to go back again and plunk down exorbitant fees after purchasing insanely expensive equipment that will NOT fix your game but you return. Again and again you go back and relive the same degree of success.
Baseball lifts you into such hysteria of joy at times and for the short term it is wonderful. Last year my Cardinals strung together the most remarkable September and October possible and still managed to lift and drop me multiple times before finishing the run to the Series victory. Then the off-season happens. Pujols leaves for an insane amount of money (and I don’t blame him for taking it or the Cards for not paying it) and you try to put back together the team that you love and go back to game one to see what happens.
That brings me back to Opening Day last night in Miami with the garish thing over the centerfield fence and the unexplainable retractable roof (in Miami??). There, my Cardinals played like the World Series Champions they proved to be in 2011. The hitters were on, the pitchers were above their own averages and the new manager enjoyed a cold shower from his exuberant team following a beautiful win. I’m back on cloud nine – for now. I know after years of following baseball and my Cardinals that it is a long season of ups and downs.
Not only did my Cardinals win but I awoke to find my fantasy team in the lead as well. Those of you who play roto fantasy baseball know that is even more meaningless than an Opening Day victory for the real team but just to see my team in first lifts my soul for the moment. It will crash into reality soon enough but I am enjoying my moments as they happen.
It is those moments – the ones that may not mean anything over the long term but that lift you up – that make each day exciting and new and make me look for the next moment of joy. For now I will live on yesterday’s wins. A new moment is on the way. I hope your moments find you and lift you. Don’t miss them and don’t let the times between them get you down. It is a fact that even the Cubs win some games in a 162 game season. We all have a chance.
Just tossing that out on the pile. Thanks for reading it.