The Sweet Smell of Life


Sometimes we try too hard
To be something more, or different than we are

In our haste to grow up
We grow old before our time

We lose track of ourselves–
Our real reason for being

Sometimes it takes an unexpected reminder
To make us realize
We are who we are
And the more we fight that
Our spirit dies

As a boy, baseball was important to me
In part, because Dad enjoyed it
But also because baseball is life–
Running bases, trying to get home safe

A couple years ago
My younger brother Doug helped me reconnect with something
I had lost some fifty years ago–
My Gus Bell-autographed MacGregor baseball glove
My first, the only one I really loved

Tears filled my eyes
When I opened the box
And saw it lying folded over–
Just as I left it so many years ago

My first instinct was to smell the leather
Its sweet scent reignited memories
Of the forever dusty baseball field in Martins Ferry
Early morning practices
Anxious game days
So much more

It changed me
Not baseball, or the glove
Not even my brother’s thoughtfulness
But the sweet smell of life