For as long as I can remember, I’ve carried this visual in my mind of sailboats on the water. These are usually accompanied by billowing white cotton candy clouds, fresh salty air breezes, and a whole of dreams about the good times ahead. The setting is usually Corpus Christi, Rockport, or Galveston, all places in Texas – and a big part of my fondest childhood memories from my earliest times.
The other day, while going through some ancient attic storage boxes, looking for something else, of course, I came across the featured photo of me in Corpus Christi. I remembered seeing it long ago, but I don’t actually recall it being taken. I guess I was about three years old at the time.
It suggests that all of my sailboat memories are not simply coming from my imagination. They were coming directly from my actual childhood experience. I also observe from the photo that I got a little more sun back in the day than I do now, but that’s an easy one to figure. Once you’ve lived long enough to have harvested the kind of skin cancer I picked up from a lifetime of unprotected exposure to the sun through baseball and all other outside pursuits, you get a little more careful about direct sun exposure.
This morning the sailboat scenario reminds me that so much of life is like the picture. Things float by us over the years. Some things are too big and fast for us to do much about; others are our opportunities to jump on to the winds of the world in search of our own destinations; and others are simply there to be either enjoyed for their beauty or avoided for their peril. (Or to teach us that some things we first see as beautiful may be perilous to our long-term consumption of same.)
For baseball fans, sometimes life floats by us in the form of a few seasons we simply have to endure. We are having such a season in Houston in 2012 and we are well on our way to watching the Astros bring home the worst record in baseball. If there’s any consolation, we’ll need to find hope in the word of new owner Jim Crane that he intends to make it better as soon as his people in charge can deliver the goods. Hope in that much for now is what we’ve got and, try to remember too: The Chicago Cubs and their fans have been forced for over a century to endure an endless armada of sailboats that inevitably have sunk on their failed maiden voyages to the rocky shores of hope’s sweet redemption.
Forgive me, folks, but I’m going back to sleep this early Sunday morning, “to sleep, per chance to dream … by the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea,”