On the west lawn of our house today is a maple tree, an oak tree, and three fifteen-foot berry bushes; but twenty years ago the lawn was free of trees and bushes, and on that lawn my daughters and I played wiffle ball.
The maple tree has spread out since then and spans half the west lawn, reaching out toward an oak tree that is satisfied to stretch upward, taller than peak of the house, and the bushes are heavily leafed and drooping with red berries. Now when I mow, I duck beneath branches and steer around trunks; but when my daughters and I played wiffle ball, the lawn was just grass
There were no trees or bushes to tag up on; and home plate might be a frisbee from the garage, and first base a shirt too hot to wear; second base could be a cap, and third base a stick from the wood pile; but while the lawn-turned-playing-field was impromptu and lasted only on average an hour, today, under the shimmering light of recollection, the objects we cobbled together to play ball acted as sacraments as we ran from base to base; as we slid across the grass; as we swung at pitches just to hear the bat cutting through the air; and as we laughed at our own and at each other’s misplays: my daughters on one team and I on the other, playing against each other, but in another way–in a far more important way–as close to each other as we could ever be.
So when I mow the west lawn now, I look to steer around the trees and the bushes, but what I see as I mow–what i really see–is the sacred ground on which the three of us played wiffle ball.