Recent photos of Great American Ball Park showed the soil of the field stripped bare, a forbidding brown plain of late fall and despair.
It is well.
What’s going in there is a completely new sod carpet, which has been patiently cultivated for years. The grass has been watered, covered, left to the sun’s work, watered again. Mostly, it’s been left alone to be itself and think big major league thoughts.
I abhor winter, even at the first snow, even at Christmas. The jackets, the scraping, the air assault on the face. That I have a Cincinnati and non-Colorado address is attributable to the presence of my family and the fact that the front range has been under a foot of snow since October. The parish I attend while visiting planted eight-foot sticks in front of a three-foot retainer wall to prevent the faithful from plowing into the stones for six months out of the year. Who lives like this on purpose?
But I recognize the need for winter; even in the mountains, the snowpack later becomes the rushing streams which inhibit fire, and the wildflowers can’t hang around forever if they’re going to reappear in the spring.
The sight of parkas at the World Series reminds us that baseball is, was, and ever shall be constructed for summer. Legs sticking to plastic seats are part of the charm. A baseball game called for rain is a disappointment; a baseball game called for snow is an affront to the order of nature.
Much as I enjoyed stringing Christmas lights in shorts when I lived in Florida, the reality was that I was also sweating, and the snowman someone constructed out of sand on the beach by my apartment was 90% cute and 10% upsetting. We need seasons.
We need fresh starts, hibernation, a time to think, a moment to till the soil, to allow the very Earth to rest. Who knows what will grow in the meantime?