Tristan and I took a Sunday drive this past weekend and happened to pass a softball field. A pretty expected sighting, given we were driving through a suburb. But something about this particular field struck a chord with me.
As soon as I saw them I felt aches of disappointment and dread in the pit of my stomach. The “dugouts” had no fence, no barricade—nothing but a lone bench per team.
Which means we can’t put up a tarp.
The thought popped into my head immediately, proving that muscle memory applies to the brain as much as it does to body and limbs. Driving in an air-conditioned, sheltered car, I didn’t need a tarp; but, teenage Kristy—the one who spent her summer weekends at softball tournaments, baking in the hot hot sun—did. And damn’t she knew there was no way to hang a sun-blocking tarp on a dugout without a fence.
It’s such as small memory—softball parents hanging up a tarp to help the players cool off in between innings. Even smaller memories are the times we’d run into fenceless dugouts, which left us no choice but to withstand the sun (what a shame).
Somehow, this one innocuous sighting made all those memories come rushing back. And I love when that happens. It’s a strange, surreal feeling when something you haven’t thought about in years grabs you and takes you to a very specific point in your life….and it’s weird because it’s not something you can try to do, and it can’t be forced. Trust me, I’ve been trying for the past 10 minutes to come up with another example of when this has happened.
It just proves that our brains are capable of holding so much information—but you need the right key to unlock it.