TIME OUT by Joe Flanagan

Save Some Time To Dream …

Field of Dreams. Build it and they will come.
For some reason, that cinema classic popped into my head last week as I pulled into the Albion Sports Complex.
“Build it and they will come.” Indeed, they have, for we have our own ‘Fields of Dreams’ right here in Albion.
Girls and boys of all ages competing simultaneously on every complex diamond. A jam-packed parking lot and bleachers full of family, friends and just-plain-fans. Grills billowing smoke and appetizing aromas. The smack of ball in leather. The pings of modern aluminum bats. Shouts of encouragement and umpires’ voices ringing out “strike three!”
Teeball, softball, baseball.
It’s a rite of summer in small towns across the nation. Many, in fact most, players will not advance to the upper levels of college or professional baseball competition. But, they can all have dreams. The younger the player, often the bigger the dream.
That dream might be to emulate their favorite major league star. Perhaps they fantasize of competing in a College World Series, be it baseball or softball variety. Maybe they simply want to follow the footsteps of an older brother or sister, or a local Legion baseball hero, while those Legion players are dreaming of making it to a state tournament. Of course, some youngsters simply dream of an ice cream treat following the game – and that’s OK too.
Dreams aren’t for just the young. Coaches have visions of the star pitcher that can carry their team to great heights. Parents and grandparents dream of ‘little Johnny’ hitting the winning home run.
Yes, it’s OK to dream. And what better place for dreams than a ball diamond on a beautiful early-summer evening, with expanses of lush green grass, puffy white clouds floating through fathomless blue skies and a breeze of promise at your back.
It’s OK to dream. In today’s world, with it’s all-too-often harsh realities, dreams can buoy the soul. With life’s everyday hectic pace, shared dreams can help knit family bonds.
We’re never too young or too old to dream, and no dream is ever too foolish or too silly.
Heed the words of John Mellencamp: Save some time to dream; Save some time for yourself; Don’t let your time slip away; Or be stolen by somebody else. Save some time for those you love; For they’ll remember what you gave.
Take time to stop and smell the hotdogs. Listen to the sounds of summer. Watch the faces with their displays of emotions – determination, joy, disappointment, satisfaction. Cheer the triumphs and applaud the efforts that come up short.
Dream on Albion. There are strikeouts to register, great catches to be made, home runs to hit. And, yes, ice cream treats to be enjoyed.
Save some time to dream.

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