I played summer softball when I was a young girl — and I emphasize the word “played” here. We did keep score, but I can’t say that it really felt like we were competing. We were playing with our friends. There was something called “the ten run rule” — if your team was behind by ten runs after a certain inning, they just called the game, assuming you had no chance of winning. (A rule most certainly created by adults. We would have played forever.) And what I most appreciate about these times, times when they enforced this rule, it always came as a complete shock! I, we, never dreamed that we didn’t have a chance. We always thought we had a chance. We thought surely we should be allowed to try, to keep playing.
The confidence of youth! Had I known there was a chance it could slip away, I would have guarded it for the treasure that it was. I work on it now daily — rebuilding this confidence. Because what a joy! To step up to the plate, without fear of the score, or the outcome! To just play. To just live!
I was in college when John Fogerty’s song, Centerfield, was released. It became a theme song for my mom.
“Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.”
I’m not sure everyone understood the song to the depths that she did. She had spent years rebuilding her life. Rebuilding her confidence. And this song, told her she was ready. And oh how she sang!
The song begins, “Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today! We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.” I look out the morning window and smile. There IS new grass on the field! And I, we, have the chance to play – forever!