Yesterday I watched a bit of the Little League World Series on television. It reminded me of my own days playing little league baseball years ago, with one stark difference. On my television screen yesterday, the field looked tiny. I had the impression that I could step from the pitcher’s mound to first base in three or four strides (I’m tall.) Then I realized that this wasn’t just a trick of the eye, that the field was, in truth, quite small. Because, of course, the players are small! After all, they’re only twelve (or sometimes thirteen, if their parents held them back to give them that Outliers competitive edge, but that’s another post.)
But wait. I remember that field being very big. I remember struggling a bit to make that throw from third base to first (I was small then.) When I recall those days, that field is still massive in my mind. It’s an illusion. My memory has tricked me.
(You see where I’m going here, faithful reader?)
And I realized that my mind does that all the time, with memories far more important and influential than the size of my little league baseball field. The issues and failings and struggles of our childhood, which live on in us whether we realize it or not, are not nearly as big as we imagine they are. They just seem that way, because we see them from the same perspective from which we first experienced them – we were little then.
And we’re big now. Sometimes I need to remind myself that, were I to grab a mitt and go back to that old field today, I could make that throw from third base.