Spring training and baseball good for soul

BY NEENA GAYNOR

Columnist

Time away is good for the soul.

After moving around as much as we have, I’m usually not one to crave or need a vacation. As crazy as it may seem in 2021, I still enjoy staying home, but sometimes a change of scenery can be eye-opening.

Wade and I spent a long weekend in Arizona with friends, desert mountain views, and the vast starry sky. And well, you probably guessed it, lots of baseball. Spring training is wrapping up for professional teams, and the regular season is just around the corner. I imagine there will always be something about a southpaw’s windup and the crack of wood that unwinds some hidden place of tension within me.

That must mean baseball is good for the soul, too.

It was my first time sitting at spring training not anxious about where our family would be living for the next half of the year or worried about foul balls—I knew Wade would catch anything that came close, and he did. I used to have plans A, B, and C ready for when rosters were finalized the day before the boys of summer were to report. Even still, we played house in a hotel more than a few times. We just call that “memory-making” in the minor leagues. There were exciting parts about being baseball gypsies, but I’ve got to say, there’s nothing like home.

Yes, home and its improvement projects, growing weeds, and settling dust, it’s all good for the soul.

Sometimes, I wonder if the traveling is as good for the soul as the comparisons it provides. Arizona is beautifully different from my old Kentucky home, but I wouldn’t ever trade. Being at Spring Training brought back memories of all the smiles and puddles of tears I shed because of that silly, wonderful game. Sunny skies some 1,500 miles away over dry, baked earth show me something else: this world is full of goodness.

Sunshine, star-filled skies, hot coffee, cold ice water, sandy deserts, snowy mountains, time away, time at home, Major League, and Little Leagues—this world is a gift. Yes, God created the heavens and the earth, and it was good.