I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
The path of life is diamond-shaped. If anyone knows that, it is you, graduates of Cooperstown Central School.
When you live your life in the home of baseball, more than others, you understand the diamond shape of life. You know the path.
It begins and ends with home.
The bases are different for everyone. I would be trivializing life to identify milestones that the bases may represent, because my bases may not be your bases.
The bases could be almost anything, perhaps events, like graduation, marriage, family, or career. Or, they could be reaching understanding on some of life’s great mysteries — love, forgiveness, mercy, forbearance. Maybe they are significant people encountered in one’s life — a mentor, a soul-mate, a pupil, a friend.
The bases really aren’t important, though we like to think they are. We focus on arriving at first base, or second base, or third.
Yes! I just graduated from high school! Or, college! Or, medical school! These, indeed, are milestones, but they don’t score runs.
The only way to score a run in baseball is to come home.
The diamond-shaped path of life leads home.
Home — such a small word with such a big meaning.
What is home? Is it the house you grew up in? Is it a little town like Cooperstown that you grow to know like the back of your hand? Is it family?
These are all good things, but I don’t think they are “home” in the diamond-shaped path of life.
Remember, it all begins and ends at home. The batter steps up and takes his stance. The pitcher stares him down, evaluating and analyzing the man with a stick in front of him. Then, they both take their best shot, one by hurtling a sphere, the other by taking a swing.
And life begins.
But coming home, that is a different thing altogether.
If life begins with that first breath, expanding the lungs with oxygen for the first time — much like when God breathed life into the first Adam — If life begins with breath, it also ends there.
Home is the threshold we cross after the last breath.
Today you may feel like you’re stepping up to the plate, but you did that long ago, when you were born. You are now somewhere in the course of rounding the bases. This may be first base for some of you, and so much of life is ahead. For some, illness or tragedy may make your time on the base-path short. That’s what makes life such a funny game of baseball. You may not really know where you are in your course.
Where-ever you are though, run your path well. Tag those bags. Run with all your might. Give it everything you’ve got.
When you arrive home again, may it be with the joy of game well-played, a race well-run, and a life well-lived.
Today’s post was inspired by the Daily Prompt: Alma Mater. “You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater — about the path of life. (Whoa.) Draft the speech.”