The past has floated away like fluff on a dandelion as the prairie winds blow across the old abandoned yard. The young girl’s grandmother has long since passed away, but the old house from her childhood still stands as if to be a testament to her very existence.
The skeleton of a house is what remains, but in the mind are memories… laughter, tears, struggle and joy are carried by the wind as it flows through the empty windows. Heat radiating from the wood burning stove, smells of fresh baked bread permeating the air, the cluck of chickens in the coop to the sound of chicken sizzling as it fries in the old cast iron skillet…
Last Friday, during a substitute teaching gig, I was recruited to do a yearbook photo shoot with the seniors at the football field as the field sees its final days.
Typical for South Dakota, it was windy which allowed me to catch a nice breezy flag shot just before the sixth grade took the flag down, ceremoniously folding it following proper flag etiquette.
All of this leads up to the featured blended image. Flag waving in front of the school, seniors enjoying a warm, autumn afternoon and a football field that will never feel cleats digging into the turf or hear the roar of the crowds again.
Change is never easy. You fight to hold on, you fight to let go…
There’s just something about summer nights that brings back memories of youth and local baseball/softball programs. From chilly nights early in the season to warm and humid nights filled with the aroma of bug spray and sweat along with youthful chatter from the dugout.
These programs help develop more than just physical skills. You can’t win by yourself, you need your teammates and you must learn to work with others. These experiences also develop relationships which enrich the summer experience beyond the field.
It is also important to enjoy the now. It is highly unlikely that any college recruiter or professional scouts are watching these games so why not keep it all about the kids who are learning the sport together. Yes, some will be better players than others, but that’s the way it is in life. Some will always need to work harder and that is a life skill that will reap tremendous benefits in the long run.
Please take advantage of any opportunity to support local youth programs. It will be money and time well spent.