Retrospect: the baseball

Self-tutoring about how things disappear and where they go: the tutor reflects.

Before summer was halfway gone, I went for a run, like often, at the field. It was a hot evening, with little breeze, and the sun was still high.

A man with his teenaged son had the baseball field to themselves, practicing. The father had a big bag of baseballs – perhaps he coaches a team. Yet the two practiced just themselves: one hit while the other fielded. We always did so when I was a lad who played baseball.

I commenced laps of the fields, watching them as I ran. The evening was still, with hardly anyone about: for durations of 10 minutes, the only entities moving were the father, the son, and me. They played at a relaxed pace because of the heat.

After a while they went to collect the balls. I noticed them searching around: apparently they’d lost one. I’d been watching, and couldn’t imagine where. They searched the grass, not recently mown, yet not tall enough, it would seem, to hide a baseball. Regardless, I watched them search for 10 minutes, and even scanned the grass myself when I circuited that area of the field: apparently, the ball was gone. Finally they gave up, shouldered the bag that contained maybe 50 balls with the bat, and left. Still running, I continued to watch for the ball, but never found it.

Who hasn’t had it happen, that you lose something that seemingly can’t disappear, but does. I’ve sometimes wondered where those things might go. I recall one time leaning over a ledge by a busy road and noticing a surprising pile of litter, balls, and toys. Hardly anyone notices it, just out of sight.

When I run up there I often wonder if their ball will “turn up” – it hasn’t, that I know.

Where did that ball go, anyway? In some hole in the sod that none of us noticed? Did it bounce off course to end up in an unexpected location? Otherwise, did something a little harder to explain happen, not only then, but other times things just “go missing?” It seems I was running around the field when the ball disappeared, yet I didn’t notice anything surprising.

Curious, eh?

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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