Rockies Baseball

She Shouted Three Words

We took the elevator to our seats last night. They checked our tickets and stamped our wrists. Through the doors and to the left, plush purple carpet embraced my dirty sandals. “Welcome”, the door said, “to Club level.”

There was never carpet at the baseball games of my childhood.

We were granted this treat thanks to generous employers who shared their tickets with us!

A kind gentleman held the door for us as we juggled hot dogs and beer to our cushioned seats.

We settled in, three innings late, tending to the suds sloshing over our plastic cups onto cement. I was halfway through my meal when it started.

Two rows up a woman was chanting.

Loudly. Three words. Over and over again.

Let’s Go Mets. Let’s Go Mets.

It got louder.

Let’s Go Mets.  Let’s Go Mets. Let’s Go Mets.

Her beat relentless.

Let’s Go Mets. Let’s Go Mets.

Cheering at a stadium? No problem.

Except, we weren’t at the Met’s stadium. That was not our team.

At first some people laughed at how boisterous this woman was.

Rich people glared, turning their necks up to see who was causing such a disturbance.

She persisted.

Ushers were called over by folks who were annoyed by her enthusiasm. 

“I believe in YOUUU baby!” she screamed, her Jersey accent carrying the words down to home plate.

Inning after inning, this lady wouldn’t let up.

It pissed people off. Boy did it piss people off.

I was annoyed at first, and then my annoyance turned to something else. Respect maybe?

This lady was screaming her truth. Her passion for baseball, enthusiasm for being in a crowd, using her voice. I mean yes, it was annoying as hell, but also – Wow.

She was into this. She wasn’t hurting anyone. And she did not let the glares of privileged people stop her.

I don’t know how she ended up in our section, or why she traveled from New Jersey to cheer in the Mile High City, but she did.

Loudly.

We wanted to shush her. She refused. The ushers politely explained that unless she becomes belligerent, starts swearing, or threatening others, guests (yes guests) are allowed to cheer as loudly as they want.

“We’re in a stadium for God’s sakes,” she cackled ” If I wanted to be quiet I woulda stayed home.”

scream

What if we all refused to shush?

Some things are worth repeating loudly, over and over. You believe your message matters.

I’m more of a quiet gal myself – you know my tagline – hope on whispers. Quiet, gentle whispers. Eeesh please don’t look at me.

I could never stand there and scream, “But the World has SO MUCH TO OFFER! Why do we have to be so cruel? Why can’t we just look for God’s gifts? The beautiful things? The food in your belly. The slobbery kisses your children leave? The feeling of dirt on your toes from your own soil? A blessing of a pillow at night?

I could never stand and yell – YOU PEOPLE DON’T GET JUST HOW GOOD WE HAVE IT? HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS GORGEOUS, MAGICAL WORLD IS. YOU’RE LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACES. MAYBE HURTING PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY!

No.

I’m more quiet.

So I write. In all capital letters.

After the 9th inning when our team won, she gathered her belongings and yelled, “Don’t worry, I’ll see you in Miami next week!” right at the field.

Devotion. Loyalty. Voice.

We drove home and bitched about her persistence but as I was laying in bed, ears ringing with her screams, I couldn’t help but think, what am I willing to shout?

She shouted.

In passionate cases, one carrying voice can be a beautiful thing.

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The Dachshunds

Shauna Niequist is taking the world by storm, or rather, by quiet revolt. Inviting people to say no to the rush, and yes to the pause. No to feelings of inadequacy and yes to the beauty and grace that we discover when we give ourselves the permission to slow the heck down.

The other day she had this as a Facebook status, “One of my spiritual practices: noticing. The tiny moments of sweetness & beauty & hope are always there–sometimes it’s just a matter of choosing to be a noticer.”

I saw this and I thought, “YES! This is what I want to be. A noticer.”

And so this week I choose to share the joy brought from these things that I noticed.

We went to a Rockies baseball game on Friday night and sat next to a school group. I was amazed at the sheer energy these kids had – climbing over chairs, refusing to sit still, hitting and nudging of siblings. I was so exhausted from sitting all day – yes sitting, the curse of the desk job – and I almost wished I had the tenacity to be able to climb all over my environment.

Too, these kids could not stop eating. Handfuls of popcorn, Pringles, hardboiled eggs their parents had brought, cotton candy. The joyful consumption of so many snacks. Every time I would look over, these little boys and girls had their palms to their faces, licking remnants of cheese and salt, and smears of flavor would be left on their face. This is the kind of abundant life we should be thankful for – remnants of food and wiggles still yet to be had after 9 pm. We live in a place of abundance – we need to recognize this.

As I left my neighborhood driving to work on Monday morning I rubbed my eyes and slurped my coffee. Mornings have never been my favorite and we are notoriously bad at any kind of morning routine here at my house. So when I stopped at the stop sign to turn left onto the main street and noticed an older gentleman walking three dachshunds I had to smile. Not one little dog, but three, and their owner had the ability to get up and dressed and out of the house for a walk. Not all of us are in a hurried rush to get to work.

Notice this kind of thing – the joy owners get from their  little creatures- the will to be outside in the mornings. I noticed a feeling of thankfulness for the beauty that was brought by being forced to stop and notice at a stop sign.

dogs

And today, a little girl outside of the bank building, patiently waiting in a trailer being pulled behind a bike as her mom made a deposit. She knew how to put her hair in a pony tail, and beamed with pride as her mom noticed the change in her appearance when the mom was done with her chore.

It’s true – the world can be scary, and anxiety provoking, and a heck of a hard place to be. But when we slow down and choose to notice, not all of it can be awful.

I want to continue to notice – the good, the happy, the joyful, the dachshunds.

What did you notice this week?