I am increasingly thankful that we play in a conference with so many Florida teams. I always look forward to our late in the semester trips south.
It makes for a nice reprieve from the chaos of end of the semester assignments. Last Friday we packed our bags and headed to the airport to go to Jacksonville to play North Florida. Once in Florida we practiced on North Florida’s field and then headed to dinner. The part of the trip that I want to focus on this week was actually very brief, and it occurred nearly at the end.
As we gained altitude on our flight to Houston, we happened to take off along with the sunset. The sky was cloudy while we were on the ground in the airport, so we were unaware that the sunset was really even taking place.
As we climbed, suddenly the sun broke through the clouds and into our windows. It was strikingly beautiful. It appeared as if we were being held in the air by the clouds themselves. The colors were unreal as they shifted seamlessly from one to the next in the ocean of fluff that lay below us.
I’m about to get super English major-y on you. One minute we were in the dark grayness of the clouds but the next brought stunning shades of pink, orange, and purple. One moment we were stuck in the mundane rhythm of everyday life and the next our eyes were open to the majesty occurring above the clouds.
This weekend came with its struggles. We lost two on Saturday that were tough losses for everyone. But Sunday we came out and we kept fighting. We kept fighting to a 16-0 win.
I suppose by this point you see where I am going with this. Saturday we were in the gray. Things seemed dark as we struggled to figure out what we needed to change.
The thing I love most about this team is that we refused to become stuck in the gray. We left the field knowing that a new morning would come and with it would come new light and another opportunity to play the game we love. We awoke on Sunday, embraced the light of a new day, and seized the opportunity.
I realize that this metaphor extends far beyond the realm of softball, but the realm of softball is where it is finding its purpose within this team. The brief minutes we spent enveloped in the sunset-soaked clouds were enough to remind us that light is always present. No matter how gray a moment seems, beauty and opportunity lie just beyond the boundaries of the clouds.
Even as a write this now, a faint but still visible line of light clings to the horizon refusing to let the darkness push it out.
I know we will have struggles as the season continues to progress; it is part of the sport we play. The success of our team will be found in our ability to push through to the light when those moments of darkness occur.
As I finish this week I hope you were able to bear with my metaphor. As we continued on our trek back to Nashville I once again find myself thankful. I find myself thankful for Florida weather, plane rides, and unexpected but oh-so-needed doses of perspective and promise.