They’re building a brand-spanking-new baseball complex a couple miles from where I grew up. It’s huge. When it’s all said and done, there’ll be eight baseball fields, a two-tiered concession building, dorms for the players, even a pro shop where you can buy t-shirts and hats. Crazy. Teams from all over the country will travel to this no-name spot to play in big-time tournaments. All this being built in the same cornfields where, as kids, we used to spend hours picking rocks so they wouldn’t bust up the corn picker. It’s literally a Field of Dreams in the middle of absolute nowhere. It’s surreal.
I drove by there a couple weekends ago when I was back home. It’s like it isn’t really there but it is. I felt like I was lost but I’d only driven two miles from the house I grew up in. It was really cool to see, but almost sad. Maybe sad isn’t the right word. But I think that’s what I felt. Not sure.
I’m not opposed to progress or change and I think it’ll be great for the local economy. And, as a bonus, we’ll be able to watch real live baseball in a real live stadium — in my mom’s backyard. But something about it doesn’t feel comfortable. It makes me realize that nothing ever stays the same and that time changes everything, every time, sometimes in ways you’d never think of in a thousand years.
It’s like a really big, synthetic-turfed metaphor.
It makes me think about how things will keep on changing, even once I’m gone. Maybe I’m being overly dramatic about a few baseball fields, but these baseball fields make me think about my insignificance. It’s like they’re telling me that everything that happened here before, doesn't matter anymore — those days are gone, move on. These fields don't care that we used to ride our bikes past here almost every day in the summer to go fishing — our fat dog, Scamper, running the entire four miles alongside us in the summer heat. (Great dog, Scamper.) It’s all different now. Gone. Changed. Big and basebally, with people and cars everywhere, and hot dogs and t-shirts for sale. It’s just — surreal.
Not much I can do about it. Might as well find a good seat and watch a few ballgames. Maybe I’ll ride my bike over there and pretend Scamper is running with me. I’d take Patch, but he’s too old. Time caught up to him too.