You see them everywhere. Counting down the minutes or days to something. Maybe it’s opening day or how much time you have left for vacation. Maybe it’s telling you there’s no time left to buy a car as the countdown is getting lower. What if you didn’t have that timer? What might you see?
As I saw the countdown to opening day this afternoon, I asked myself how focused should I be on it and should I really need to see it everyday to realize when it is? And by focusing on it what would I be missing in the mean time?
Tuesday, I was able to spend time with family and friends for the usual Walsh St. Paddy’s day party. My parents have never owned a big home and it’s always crowded with smiling faces and good food. My mother pours her heart into corned beef and cabbage and potatoes you couldn’t believe how good they are. Green beer flows and music is sung and danced to. Looking back I’m glad I was able to make time for that and not be consumed by what is out of my control as that countdown ticks away.
Starting this journey I wondered how everything could work. I knew I had an aged car and little money. I knew I had obstacles but I kept faith in the idea there are more good than bad in this world.
Tuesday morning I was looking still for a place to stay as the friends home I am in now was not meant to be a long term solution. I am grateful for every moment I have been able to be a part of his young family and stay under a warm roof. I wasn’t overly worried about finding a place as much as I was not being more of a burden any longer. Time was of the essence but focusing on this particular countdown clock would have kept my mind away from the things I could be a part of.
I knew my effort to find another place to sleep was valid and so did he. It was just a matter of someone answering that call. Would they have the same energy and enthusiasm to help others? I had faith they would. Someone answered my call and I quickly replied saying I would be back in town Thursday to touch base.
Today, I did just that and got my answer. A stranger named Mary would be my new home. More than willing to help, I could hear the wisdom and belief in her aged voice. I told her of my crazy ambitions with baseball and meeting this countries people. She told me about friends in the ’60s who had become established authors but knew the road very well and opened a generation to their fellow countrymen and their stories. Travelling vagabonds she called them and some wrote for very well known magazines now but were still the same free spirits.
Uncle Sam didn’t like the idea of me taking retirement money I had saved. He didn’t like it so much in fact that the amount he is taking is staggering. I know that money won’t last an entire summer so I have faith again. I have faith the amount I do have will carry me with the same power as double that amount. I won’t be able to travel full months in April and May but the journies I will make in those two months will be all the more special.
I’ll look at the odometer on my car and realize the numbers going up is a countdown of the car’s life. Every mile is another mile closer to its end date. I won’t focus too much on it though. I’ll do what I can and realize the miles it is driving I am grateful for. No I won’t worry about the ones it won’t see. If it breaks I’ll try to fix it and if I can’t I’ll hope another way shows up.
The countdown of every passing game won’t frustrate me to see them all because I will be happy with the ones I’ve gotten to see. I have neither the means nor the time to see 162 of them. But the ones I do see will be memorable because those were part of the positive of this fabric I’m hoping to continue sewing.
Today a stranger named Mary was okay taking me into her home and life and not with reckless abandon but hope and faith. The idea there is more good than bad. So Saturday I will have my stuff packed up and ready to take another step towards the familiar but unknown. Had I worried about countdowns and timers I would have missed out on an incredible and meaningful Tuesday. I ask those higher powers to keep those same sensibilities with me to not miss anything else.
I could have missed one of my best friends who flew in from Houston, Texas to be part of our party. And I could have missed his beautiful daughter.