this Aprille day

I’m a day late for proper “Whan That Aprille Day” celebrations, but I’ll combine two important holidays with one image:

Medieval Baseball MS Bodley 264 14th c
from Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 264 (14th c.) & thanks to Erik Kwakkel and his excellent medieval books blog for sharing it

Because today is…the second Aprille day, and it happens to be Opening Day for Major League Baseball, which is to say the beginning of my own personal High Holy Days. Part of what makes April, May, and June so special is that everything in baseball feels so languid; there’s so much season left. After the All-Star break, while everyone else thinks in terms of playoff races heating up, I start to feel the impending doom of fall. But late-spring baseball? There’s all the time in the world.

Conversely, this part of baseball also aligns with the NHL playoffs, which are due to start on April 13. The Stanley Cup playoffs are utterly nerve-wracking, in a way baseball definitively isn’t for me, but it does make for a very exciting set of months—a constant cycle of wind-up and wind-down that’s both invigorating and decadent, and it coincides with my favorite time of year otherwise: the first blush of summer (which brings with it farmers’ markets and long writing mornings and hammock afternoons).

If you’d like to celebrate baseball—or just enjoy some great writing about the human experience—one way you might consider is via Stacey May Fowles’s new book, Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game that Saved Me, due out on Tuesday, April 11 (and it was just featured in the New York Times’ spring baseball book preview). Fowles’s book is something I’ve been looking forward to reading for ages, and her baseball writing always seems to capture exactly what I’m feeling about the game—and, uncannily, the feelings that exist well outside of the game, as a writer and a person inhabiting the world. While you wait for April 11, you can also enjoy Fowles’s Baseball Life Advice TinyLetter.

Baseball is back. The universe feels a little kinder today. It’s a bit of an illusion brought on by looking long at infield and outfield green, lush in the way my own yard can’t even imagine, the brushed velvet earth between bases. It doesn’t actually fix anything, can’t drive out the horsemen of the apocalypse riding through D.C., but it’s one of the things that helps build the hope needed to keep trying.

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