Without meaning to, there seems to be a theme to everything that is happening around us this Spring... baseball.
None of it has been on purpose, it just seems to have come together that way. Starting with the idea and hope, and finally the realization that Mr. Costner is going to come and join us in our "field of dreams" here at the farm for The Homestead Festival in June.
A month or so ago, some of our family and friends gathered with us and we watched the movie Field of Dreams in the concert hall. It was the first time I'd seen it in about twenty years and I immediately recognized why the film is so beloved. I was in equal parts: moved, inspired and brought to tears many times, in those two hours and went to bed that evening feeling like I'd watched something that somehow made my life a little better.
Our little eight-year-old daughter Indiana loves baseball. I don't know why, but for the last few years, when she's bored and the weather outside is half-way decent at all, she will say, "Papa let's go do baseball!". And with that, she means, let's take out the ball and bat outside so I can pitch while she tries to hit the ball. And so we'll spend the next thirty minutes of so near in the grass on the hillside beside the windmill, or more often than not, by Mama's cross in the cemetery. Me tossing underhand pitches to her as she tries to 'hit a home run.' She's surprisingly very serious about it, and honestly pretty darn good at hitting the ball.
A few months ago, I got an email from some wonderful folks in our community that have also been thinking a lot about baseball, who invited me to a meeting they were having about building a baseball field in our hometown. And not just another baseball field... a special ball field for special kids and adults.
It didn't take me long to want to be part of the dream they had and so for the past month or two, they and I, have been getting ready for the launch of a campaign to raise money to build a Miracle Field in Columbia. There are lots of fields all across the country like the one our town is hoping to build, but none here in our area, with the ability to serve kiddos and grown-ups with wheelchairs and many other situations that would need a special park to be able to play baseball in. And they're not just building a ball field, it's also going to have a special park, where the same kids and adults will have the ability to play on and around handicap accessible structures and flooring.
And yesterday afternoon, they held a big kickoff-event at the spot in the park where the county has donated a field for the new ballpark and playground to be built. Lots of folks showed up to support the dream, wearing 'Columbia Miracle League' tee shirts and taking part in a mile-long walk, music, games, food trucks and even a little make-shift baseball, in the spot where the real field is going to be one day. And Indy was right in the middle of it all, loving every minute.
And for my part, I offered to do what I could to help share the story and spread the word in the best way I know how...
I hope you'll consider coming alongside Robin, Mike, and everyone involved in making this dream of having a Miracle League of our own a reality. If you'd like to donate to this wonderful cause, you can do so and find out more info at http://columbiamiracleleague.com/donate
* Thank you to my nephew Mikel Hunt and good friend Aaron David Thomas for helping to capture and bring this special afternoon to life through video.