“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” ~ Leo Tolstoy, War And Peace
It’s game day. Today, at 3 p.m., Virginia plays George Washington at nearby Disharoon Park in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers are off to a wobbly 4-3 start. But, I’m not worried. They are a stacked team. They will be fine.
Today, at 7 a.m., I am having my coffee. I should be scouring the weather report, calculating temperature and wind speed to determine how many layers I will need to sit through an early March baseball game.
I should be scanning the rosters, recharging my camera, making sure the scorecard is ready to go.
These are little nothing chores. Things I rarely think about as I’m doing them. The routine of a baseball fan.
I should be doing all these things.
I am not.
Only a few fans can attend and they must be spread widely through the park.
Instead, I’m sitting here wondering where the past year went.
One year. March to March. One big blurry uncomfortable inconsiderate wasted lost year.
I miss baseball. I miss restaurants.
I miss having a job that I go to, Yoga students that I can see on their mats, massage clients who arrive each week, on the same day, at the same time, and tell me about home and family and what they’re reading and what their garden is growing and what hurts today and what doesn’t.
I miss having somewhere to go. Somewhere to be.
I miss the free hot chocolate that Virginia gives fans whenever the temperature dips below 45.
I miss baseball.
It will be 51 and sunny today in Charlottesville. No free hot chocolate. I would wear, I think, three light, sweatshirt’y layers and a jacket to the game. I would bring my winter gloves, just in case. I am prone to cold.
If these were normal times. But, they are not.
Major League Spring Training is underway in Florida and Arizona.
And, I need to tell you this.
Last year, right about now, Trey Mancini, star first baseman of the Baltimore Orioles – Most Valuable Oriole in 2019 – had his season ended when the team’s routine physical uncovered aggressive Stage 3 colon cancer. He was 27.
While I brooded through a lost year missing restaurants and feeling sorry for myself, Trey Mancini was fighting cancer, fighting to stay alive.
On Sunday, the first day of Spring Training games, Trey returned to the Orioles lineup. Cancer free.
And, this happened …
“I almost teared up a little bit, I’m not going to lie, when I was up there and everybody gave me a standing ovation and I saw all the guys on the field clapping on the Pirates, clapping in the dugout, our team, and all our fans. It meant the world to me.”
It’s spring. It’s baseball.
And, hope springs eternal.