October 1, 2020

Go the Distance — Field of Dreams

“Go the distance” Voice from the field.

After the Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie, we checked football scores and then channel surfed. There it was, my favorite irresistible movie, Field of Dreams. Though I own it, somehow when it’s on TV, I’m drawn to watching again, all the way to the cars winding down the road to the Field. I hear something new every time, yet get choked up in the same places. I think of myself like Moonlight Graham, the rookie turned doctor who said: “… if I’d only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes . . . now that would have been a tragedy.”

Do you believe that what you do has importance for you and those around you? When I hear that quote, I hope the world is better off with my efforts as a Social Worker, than as the baseball player that, as I child, I dreamed of becoming.

We watched and remembered our trip to the movie site in the middle of an Iowa cornfield in Dyersville. It started by driving to North Central Iowa for a family reunion, promising to swing by the Field on the way home.  

Reunion came to a close. Practicality reigned and with adult “wisdom” we decided to go home; “there will be another time,” we said. Our Iowa family concurred wondering why anyone would visit a baseball field in the middle of Iowa anyway. But our 8 year old had a different view. He reminded us of our promise.

So with varying levels of interest off we went to Dyersville. It was a long drive; there was no interstate. Still, anticipation for all four of us increased.

On that bright, sunny, late Sunday afternoon, we arrived in Dyersville and got directions to the Field. We drove into the countryside, going down the same road as the cars in the movie.

Simultaneously, each of us had goose bumps as we experienced feelings of appreciation and awe, as we approached the Field. The feelings were unexpected, powerful and, even now, not fully understood.

Then we saw the corn, the farm house, of course, the Field. Even at  age 8, Ben knew his line…”Dad, you want to have a catch”… and we did. In fact, we all had a catch with each other and with people from Japan and from California. We batted and pitched and ran the bases. Oh yes, we walked in and out of the corn hoping to disappear like Shoeless Joe. It was a great day.

The trip had lessons. If we had gone home, as practicality suggested, the experience would have been missed. It seems a recurring theme — to learn: go, do and try. Sometimes the experience is a special gift.

Of course, we never understand the missed experience. Practical adults just move on. Remember to listen to the child, grandchild or child within who may know better.  I am grateful we sometimes listen.

As the Dr. Graham pointed out: “You know, we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that was the only day.”

Enjoy fully this day.

Bill

The Field of Dreams remains available (in season) for visits.

www.fieldofdreamsmoviesite.com/distance.html

Comments

  1. Enjoyed reading your calming words about family and living in the moment, willingness to take the side trips and honoring promises to children. You inspired me to start my blog again, if you want to read it go to http://uupoet.blogspot.com/