“In the midst of winter, I found there was within me, an invincible summer”
~ Albert Camus
Those words have helped me through many winters, both seasonal and otherwise, more personal winters. To reach for light and heat, to hold in the eyes or the hands even a brief facet of summers gone by would often be enough to stave the surrender inspired by difficult winters. But the invincible summer is not there in the winter. It exists only in memory, and in promise. It has been, it will be again, to live that praxis is the essence of faith.
I have made it through another winter, a particularly brutal one even by Michigan standards. I’ve known 39 such midwestern winters now, the echoes of whistling winds and barren chills still ring from time to time, even in the warmer months. I’ve known the winters of surviving cancer, losing loved ones, poverty and pain. And today the promise of summer faith was kept, through a perfect day that can accurately be described as invincible.
My skin is darker than it was this morning, the product of a few hours in the sun hitting line drives and long fly balls. There is no feeling quite like hitting a ball square. The fluidity of a correct stride, the transfer of weight and turn of the hips in perfect time to the music of an arcing pitch, the hands rolling through contact, the distinct and devout impact of sweet spot meeting sweet spot – this is the unadulterated joy of striking a baseball well. I felt invincible, for milliseconds at least, but the resonance of one perfect hit lives on, and on. I’ll store those moments from today, a reminder of the invincible summer to reflect upon in the next winter.
And that wasn’t even the best part of my day.
I spent the later portion of the afternoon wafting in a hammock beneath a sky so blue, so brilliant, I could almost see the masters brush strokes. Nary a pleasure our atmosphere may produce can compete with a sky blue sky. Particularly when it is savored to the rhythm of a slow hammock sway, while drinking a good beer, with a marvelous young lady keeping me company.