Hello, I’m Sam Jones. You already know we live in troubled times and it goes without saying everyone in the country is feeling the weight of worry. Although the season is over I would encourage you to find the time to go by one of our many baseball fields while it’s empty. You don’t have to go inside, just get out of your car and walk over to the fence and let yourself daydream a little. Suddenly you can smell popcorn and hot dogs, the stands are full, there’s a runner on second and third, it’s the bottom of the ninth and the batter steps up to the plate. His team is behind two to one and the pressure is on. If he strikes out, his team loses. If he connects just right, he could drive in two runners and score a home run. Both dugouts are tense.
The wind up, the pitch is on the way. High and inside, he steps back, ball one. The pitcher toes the rubber, winds up and again, the ball is released. A lazy curve. A swing and a miss. Strike one. The crowd comes alive. You can feel it. Another pitch, a knuckle ball. Again the batter gets nothing but air. Strike two. Now both dugouts, like the crowd, are on their feet. The pitcher shakes off the first signal from the catcher, nods at the second one and goes into his windup. The pitch is on the way.
Suddenly, over the roar of the crowd you hear the crack of the bat and Mr. Spalding is on his way to a space about two feet above the center field fence. The bedlam grips the stadium, a roar of yelling, clapping, cheering and screaming whistles fill the air. Is the ball is going to clear the fence? If it does it will change the outcome. So many variables could interfere.
Suddenly, the ball stops in mid-flight, all action comes to a halt, a quiet calm settles over the stadium and the batter is frozen half way between home and first base. Everything, the players, the crowd, all start to fade. You’ve just been visited by a wise old muse.
The game was a metaphor for what’s happening today. The question you face now, how will it all end?
You think you know how the game will end. You believe the ball will clear the fence. Then you realize everything is gone, the players, the crowd, the smells of hot dogs and popcorn, everything is gone, except the ball. Its’ just hanging there in mid-air, as though to say “It’s not over”. Finally it too fades away.
After a while, you turn, walk back to your car. Did it really happen? Did I really see all that?
It was so real. Yes it is.
And that’s my perspective.