I was fishing with my brother a week or so ago. We’ve developed a habit of bringing our baseball gloves when we go on fishing trips, and finding a little time to play catch in the afternoons. As much as I always enjoy the fishing, I’ve got to say I enjoy those brief moments of playing catch just as much.
My baseball glove is a leftover from 40+ years ago. Back then, I saved up for quite a while to buy such a nice glove, and carefully oiled it and broke it in through thousands of balls thrown and caught. I’ve oiled it now and again through the years, so it’s still serviceable today. I’ve always kept a baseball tucked perfectly into the pocket of the glove, to assure that it stays molded with the memory of the thing it’s meant to wrap itself around.
Through all the moves and changes in my life, that glove has somehow stayed tucked away in my drawer. It’s survived the many bouts of “cleansing”, where I give away or throw away everything I’m not using at the time.
It slips so naturally onto my left hand, and feels so “right” when it’s there. The ball falls from it into my right hand. I feel the laces touch my fingers just right as I’m rocking back onto my right foot and my right arm falls away behind me. My right arm and shoulder roll easily into an arc above my head and my wrist snaps lightly, I release the ball, and watch as it goes to the exact spot my mind’s eye was seeing.
My glove folds around the ball as it returns to me, snapping with a sweet “pop”. As the ball hits my glove, I’m already rocking gently through the motion of sending the ball back to my brother.
Back and forth my feet take me through the familiar motion, my arm arcing and releasing, my glove popping. A familiar rhythm that became part of the fabric of my being during a time when my heart and mind and soul were learning to become the rhythm that is life. Just as the glove has maintained the memory of the baseball it’s meant to hold, my body has maintained a memory of that easy rhythm of the game.
Letting my body fall into that familiar memory does something to my heart and soul too. The gentle rhythm of activity that feels “ancient” to our muscles releases our mind, heart, and soul to fall back deeply into ourselves. A bit of a “renewal” I suppose, like drinking from an ancient and well-guarded spring of water so sweet it never leaves our memory. Read more »