October 23: My 10:13 pm text: “I know why it’s more stressful to watch a game from home: we have a thousand different things we can do to influence the mojo. Gotta try ‘em all. At the ballpark, it’s basically same seats (easy) and taking my jacket on and off. Onward to good luck position #17.” Laura’s text: “Yes!! I just totally changed rooms. And put on my pajamas.” Exactly. Nats break open a 2-2 tie and score six runs in the 7th, 3 runs in the 8th and 1 run in the 9th. My text: “Should I wear my ten-run PJs to the ballpark??!!” Loyd’s text: “Probably. You don’t want to mess with quantum mechanics.” Nats win Game 2 of the World Series 12-3, for a 2-0 series lead, and three games at home. Nate’s 12:10 am text: “what is happening?”
October 24: Our Frankenstein gourds looked especially playful this morning. Sunbeams turned maple leaves into gold, and an apple-crisp breeze tickled the sturdy warming sun. Dew collected on ivy like a thousand diamonds, and I nestled into my cozy wool coat, buttoned high. Even removing a pebble from my shoe was a pleasure, pausing as I did amid the fall loveliness. Yes. Everything is delicious the morning after an unexpected World Series win.
October 25: As I do most days when I walk through the metro parking lot, I picked up bits of trash. Yesterday and today, I dipped and reached until I had a fistful. Mostly it’s about protecting Four Mile Run and the walkers’ landscape. And just a little bit about sending more positive energy into the universe. I’m not wearing my ten-run pajamas at the moment. I think acts of kindness are better mojo anyway.
October 25: In the shadow of the ballpark, at a crowded patio bar by the river, we saw: fireboats on the Anacostia River shooting plumes of water into the sky; a strolling inflatable shark, carrying a maroon handbag; the Budweiser Clydesdales right in front of us, calmly displaying their beautiful healthy flanks and the trust their handlers have earned; and people so so so excited to welcome the World Series to OUR HOUSE. Jeremiah and I cheered ourselves hoarse. The Nats’ lead is now down to 2-1. Win or lose (and we’ve still proudly won the National League Pennant!) we will never forget this October.
October 26: Tonight, my son Nate invited me to: (1) go to the ballgame when I was starting to wear out; (2) travel three stops past Capitol South to check out a used leather couch; (3) saunter past an unseen exuberant marching band at beautiful Eastern High School ; (4) walk, not ride, to the ballpark, savoring the autumn warmth and views; (5) wander into Ophelia’s Fish House at Eastern Market for dinner; (6) share two cocktails named Cut the Lime and Last Word; (7) meet his favorite beer lady, who hugged me, signed my scorecard and comped me a beer; and (8) stand, not sit, with a bunch of awesome fans who had spirit and joy. Another Nats loss, series tied 2-2. I felt the love anyway.
October 27: Nate said to me last night that the Nats went into the World Series with absolutely nothing to lose. And we were joyful, loose, loving, fearless. Their dugout was a party: And Now We Dance. Then, we took a 2-0 lead on the road; returning home, we suddenly did have something to lose. I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon, with the series tied, our last home game tonight, and home field advantage tipping back to Houston.
Joyful, loose, loving, fearless. What do I clasp tight in my life? What’s one thing I can consign to the fear dustbin — and let myself go? Now, like the Nats, our Nats, our beloved Nats, we dance. Now I dance.
October 28: Tonight, I walked behind a thirty-something couple on the path from the metro. The man dragged a carry-on suitcase and slung a vibrant backpack over his shoulders. The woman carried a tiny purse and accepted his extended hand. They walked slowly, connected. I told myself that she had been away for a long weekend and had just arrived at the station from National Airport; he met her and lovingly carried her bag home. True? Who knows. But I like it.
(Five minutes after stepping off the path to type this, I saw them again. Sitting on a picnic bench, she rested her head on his shoulder while he spoke into his phone in Spanish. The woman and I shared a smile, and I moved on.)
October 29: As I write this, you know the outcome of World Series Game 6. I do not. And that allows me, without reservation, to celebrate our joyous, incredible, unforgettable 2019 season. I consider this an elegy, not a eulogy. (Remember, I don’t know the outcome.) Elegy: pensive, poetic, nostalgic. With a won-loss record of 19-31 on May 24 (and <1% chance of making the World Series), we:
- played the best baseball in the Major Leagues for the next five months;
- discovered the joy of baby sharks, dugout hugs and home run conga lines;
- won our first postseason series, and then another, and then another, as the lowest-seed team to play for the National League title;
- redefined Game Five (NLDS: Nats win with an extra-inning grand slam) and Game Four (NLCS: Nats sweep the Cardinals); and
- made a date to hoist the National League pennant above our ballpark — and emblazon the year 2019 on a flag that, for twelve seasons has fluttered forlorn and empty next to Washington’s last pennant, in 1924.
It doesn’t matter what happens tonight. We are champions. Maybe that’s not poetry. But my heart aches with pride, love and gratitude for this team. I’m eager for what will be and already nostalgic for what so recently was. Maybe we’ll seize the World Series trophy. Maybe we won’t. It doesn’t matter, in a way. We celebrate every win. We celebrate every hug. We simply never imagined being here. And that makes every moment — even the painful ones — something special. Kind of like life, huh? Go Nats.
A Reader’s Delight: From Carolyn, the three-dimensional mom of Flat Ava: Here is a quick Delight to share: Ava is in first grade and is thriving. In her school, each student picks four goals on which to work each semester. For science, Ava decided to study magnets. One day after school she told me, with much enthusiasm, “I’ve been studying magnets!” With much interest, I said, “Oh, what about magnets have you been studying?” She took a deep breath, paused, and said, “I don’t know!”
Dear Readers, do you want to receive notifications by email each time I post a Delight? Just scroll all the way down this page, look to the left and click on the black button that says “Join Me!”
Also, do you find yourself noticing small delights — or acts of kindness — during your own day? I’d love to share yours here. Send me a few sentences or a photo — or both! And let me know if I should mention your name. Email your Delight here: Carolann.firstname.lastname@example.org. You might, as I do, start finding them in surprising places. Let’s glimpse bits of joy together.