As I pulled up, I could barely believe my eyes. Cars filled the parking lot and parents with children packed the fields and stands. Just one week ago, the same fields were covered in a thick layer of mud with bleachers toppled on their sides. On that day, the park was filled with people too, but they were volunteers cleaning up after the recent historic flood. But, today, just one week later, the same fields were filled with pitchers, catchers, outfielders and even a photographer to snap pictures of the little leaguers.
The setting made me smile and, at that moment, reassured me that spring had finally arrived. It was about time! Mother Nature was especially rough this year with a winter season that dragged on with bitter cold, late snow, large hail, strong winds and raging floods.
The warmth of the sun on this spring day comforted the chill in my body, but the scene warmed my heart. When I looked out on Lions Park, I was reminded of the uniqueness of this place. This park represents something more than baseball and a playground but a community who comes together, not only on sunny spring days but especially during the most difficult times. The flood revealed what this park is really about – a spirit of togetherness. Maybe when the electricity is fully functional Diana Ross’ “If we hold on together” can be played before each event. It would be a fitting theme song for a caring community that’s rare today in our me-focussed world.
Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, Lions Park is up and running again. Although there’s still repairs to be done, it was great to see the park alive and filled with energy, excitement and smiling faces. I will be wandering back to Lions Park soon and hope to see you there, rain or shine, but, hopefully, no flood.