Refuge

I don't know much about cycling, but I love to watch the Tour de France. I love the lush greenness, the rainbow-bright uniform colors, the quaint European villages that look like puzzles I worked as a child, the goats scampering to the summits of rugged mountains.

I've needed some beauty this week. At work, we're required to spend some time online, searching for news related to our clients, and the web has not been a pretty place of late. Planes shot down and children bombed and women stoned. It was too much. I had to pull my metaphorical covers over my head and silently whimper.

Today, I confess to an afternoon glass of white as the angrily billowing clouds break and release their pent-up emotion all around me. It is South Florida; this may last two hours or stop before I finish this blog. But it feels cathartic, cleansing, calming. In the petrichor promise of the air, I take a deep breath.

This, again, is why sports matter. They have the power to affect change, but they also provide a balm and an escape. I do not forget about the brilliant minds of world-renowned AIDS researchers lost in an instant of fire and rubble. I do not forget about a centuries-old conflict erupting in new, adolescent bloodshed. I do not forget about the terror that must course through your veins as, hands bound behind your back, you look into the enraged faces of men who feel righteous enough to pick up the first stone. 

But I do look forward to cheering for the hometown team, for the first time in recorded history, as they take on the baseball club I despise with every ounce of my Dodger blue blood. I look forward to holding hands with my husband as we stand before the now familiar-yet-still fabulous bobbleheads. I look forward to checking in a new craft beer on Untapped and hearing the healing crack of the bat and seeing the red Budweiser sign arching over centerfield, framing the Miami skyline and circling a piece of peace.

I don't forget the slow rage that surges through the blood vessels in my brain when the bully pulpit yet again drowns out the reasoned argument, or when an otherwise salient point concludes with, "It's the South; what do you expect?" I don't forget missing faraway friends with an ache that I've grown used to but still throbs.

But I know that the infield will be raked and the sausages frying steps from our favorite parking spot and that it's three strikes and you're out, always and forever, a comforting constant amid discouraging change.