Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beauty and the Feast

Last night was one of those nights when it was known in advance that the ballgame would have to wait. The beautiful, talented and wonderful teen daughter that is the sparkle in this writer's eye came over yesterday as she does three times a week. And she had homework. As sometimes happens when you are a parent, that homework became "our" homework. She had a paper she had written on Romeo and Juliet and had received the first draft back from her teacher. There were a bunch of red marks on the draft and she relies on old Dad an his supposed knowledge of the English language to help her fix such things. Her home is computer un-savvy, so she was unable to bring her original file. That meant that sitting side by side, old Dad had to retype all five pages.

Reading your child's writing is eye opening. In the everyday and mundane interactions in life, we rarely get a glimpse inside our children's heads to see how they feel about things. Reading her take on whether Shakespeare's most famous work was about puppy love or the real thing was eye-opening in how the daughter views the world, relationships and life in general. So it was a pleasure and besides, old Dad types faster than her anyway.

Our little project went beyond nine o'clock and once it was finished, she needed to be driven the fifteen miles out into the countryside to her home. After be-bopping to our one and only radio station, we got to her door, said our goodbyes and old Dad started the drive home. Of course it was well past sunset which had occurred sadly by 5:30 and for those of you who live in a fairly average-sized town, you don't know dark until you drive out into the sticks. That, friends, is dark. Enjoying the ride to her home and savoring every minute of our time together, the sky was hardly noticed. Just a brief glimpse gave the driver the impression that it was cloudy or something. The sky seemed sort of whitish. But after starting the drive home, at the end of the daughter's road and at the stop sign, the sky was fully regarded and what a sight it was.

The northern lights were out in full force. Living in northern Maine, the northern lights are not a rare item. But usually, they are somewhat muted, hazy and seen to the far north. Last night, they were everywhere. Once the driver got through the dead zone for cellular telephone signals, the wife was called and told to go outside and see the wonder for herself. Old Dad couldn't wait to get home to see it with her without having to watch the road for stray moose. 

And what a sight it was from the front porch. Arm in arm with the best wife in the world, the sights in the sky were remarkable. Certainly such a display was as uncommon as can be. The local television station has a Facebook page and a fellow named Kevin Pelkey from just over the Canadian border (about twenty miles from here) posted this photo:

While the photograph is beautiful, it pales in comparison to what we saw. The light display was not contained to just the northern horizon, but filled the entire sky. Right over us above the house developed this unbelievable band of blood red light. Everywhere else in the sky were dancing lights of light blue and white. As the wife huddled shivering in her bathrobe, coat and sandals, the Fan called the daughter and excitedly told her to take her hand-held phone outside. There, Dad, wife and Dad's daughter shared a once in a lifetime moment of beauty. It was spectacular and a moment that will be tucked deep inside forever.

It wasn't until after that glorious moment that the World Series Game Five was finally turned on the television. And after such a thrilling and emotional occurrences that were already described, it was a bit less important to note the goings on down in Texas. Fortunately, the game captured attention right away. It was the start of the eighth inning, or at least the start of the bottom half anyway. You all know what happened that half inning by now with the communication problem between Tony LaRussa and his bullpen. Mike Napoli's big double off the wrong bullpen pitcher capped the inning and sent the game to the ninth. There we got even more of a feast of entertainment as that same Mike Napoli threw out Allen Craig on a failed hit and run and then, fittingly, Napoli ended the game on a Berkman strikeout by missing the ball, chasing it three-quarters of the way to first base and flipping it to Moreland to end the game. Mike Napoli has become everyone's Mr. Everyman in this World Series (at least for everyone not a Cardinal fan) and we are all just along for the ride.

So no, there is no in-depth analysis this morning. There is no game breakdown. This writer has no qualms about that as hundreds of writers around the globe are already providing you with that kind of content. Instead, the lasting impression this morning is of a daughter, a wife and one of nature's most wondrous gifts given to all of us. Perhaps it was not baseball profound, but it was profoundly ingrained inside one of your fellow human beings. 

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