After the final game was played at the old Yankee Stadium last year, Don Larson reverently scooped up some dirt from the pitcher’s mound. The only pitcher to toss a perfect game in the World Series was assisted by Whitey Ford, another Yankee great. And it was a poignant moment no matter what team you root for; these two old men bending down in front of 50,000 people to try and preserve an integral part of their lives. They sought something tangible, a “holy relic” from the “cathedral” where their stars had shined so brightly those many years ago.
I mentioned this ten days ago during my final sermon at All Saints’ in Briarcliff Manor, New York. Just before I broke off a chunk of the altar to remember my seven years as rector. Okay, I didn’t actually do this but it crossed my mind.
Ben was obviously listening because after his last game of Briarcliff little league last night, he went out to home plate and did the same thing. He scooped up a bunch of dirt/mud into his hat and processed it with great ceremony to my car. Where half of it promptly spilled all over the back seat.
Kids do have an amazing sense of ritual during times of transition. And I always feel it’s best to follow their leads with this stuff. Even if it means moving dirt from New York to New England.
Ben’s Briarcliff dirt — the portion that’s not ground into my car’s fabric seats – is now safely encased in a ziplock bag that’s sitting on our kitchen table. Next stop: Hingham, Massachusetts.