I was going to go to the Nats game today. I wanted to walk to the stadium more than I actually wanted to go to the game, because from my new place, I can. I was going to the Nats game yesterday, too, but I decided against it and missed a no hitter. I was actually getting ready to go to the game yesterday but looked out at my potted plants whom I’ve promised for weeks to get into the ground and decided to stay. Of all the times. (No hitter.)
I don’t know what it is about this season, but I haven’t been paying attention as much. I mean, moving has something to do with it – a LOT to do with it – having to get pieces of the place because we both had so little before. And I have 2.5 hours of commuting every day (the move cut a half hour out of that, hallelujah.) The Reds stink, so there’s that, too, but I’ve had some frequent Comcast internet problems that have prevented me from watching them. And the Nationals, well, they just don’t have that coveted baseball feeling. They did, once, when they arrived to Washington in 2005, I guess because there was a sense of history there. There isn’t one now – it’s more like going to a Washington happy hour. I watch most of the games, still, but I’ve only been to two so far this season, partially – or mostly – because Chris works at the ballpark now and can’t go to games with me, but also because I just haven’t wanted to go as much.
But somehow, tonight, on the day after the solstice, when the sky is still light until 9pm and the temperature is perfect, as my hands and legs are covered in dirt from gardening but I refuse to waste even a second of this beautiful night to wash it off inside, somehow now I think of baseball.
This is my favorite time of year when there is more light now than all year long. It’s not the same as growing up in Ohio, though, because we are on opposite sides of the time zone, and in Washington, we only get until 9pm whereas in Ohio it’s light until 10. One of my goals in life is to someday attend the 24 hour baseball tournament that happens in Alaska with its endless daylight. What could be better than 24 hours or so of baseball? Once I had the great fortune of traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland from London on the summer solstice. We took an overnight bus. It was light until midnight, and I got to see the Northern Lights. Everyone should see that in their lifetime, and if you don’t want to, you might as well be dead, because you certainly aren’t living. I fell asleep on the bus (that was supposed to be the intention) and woke up when it was totally light out – at 3am. It was the strangest thing. And awesome.
We live close enough to the Marine barracks to hear the bugle at dusk. It’s a wonderful way to move into night. The fireflies are out; they are the only bug that I will touch on purpose, which I think is odd, because so many others are perfectly harmless. I remember in the fields in Ohio the thousands of lightning bugs, as I called them then, and still marvel at them today if I am back there. I can only see dozens at the moment. Right now, though, it seems like enough.
The sky is pink now, the light is waning and I am thinking about baseball on the banks of the Ohio River and the ugly cookie cutter stadium that was the best place on earth and the endless ramps to walk up with the squishy black stuff and the sticky summer days with the ten o’clock night times, back when people weren’t so addicted to air conditioning and they actually could enjoy an evening like I am enjoying it now, with the silhouettes of chimneys in front of the pink sky backdrops and a single visible star in the still blue sky and the white fluffy clouds floating overhead and for a moment that is all too fleeting, everything is perfect.