Now and again I feel the need to relinquish my space for a week and share the words of one of my students with my readers. Such is the case this week. Jordan Taylor is one of my seniors and a most delightful student. She loves reading, literature in general, and writing. She’s also an excellent writer as you will discover in the following piece. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Baseball Diamonds and Bookmarks
I can remember summers spent sweating beneath the sweltering sunshine and winters wasted while wrapped in blankets, sitting in the bleachers watching my brother run around and around the sparkling diamond. I never understood the glamour of a baseball field or the excitement of sliding into home; all I ever saw were white pants stained orange by the clay and the red stitched ball flying everywhere. But that didn’t stop my parents from dragging me all over South Georgia to watch my brother’s tournaments and games and scrimmages that didn’t even matter, not to me anyway. I would explore each new ball park, traveling from the bleachers to the picnic tables with a book clasped between my fingers, returning to the field only to watch Ryan swing his bat to hit the ball. The clank and crack of ball meeting bat became my bookmark, remembering each of Ryan’s homeruns or outs made at first by which book I was lost in at the time.
It wasn’t always this way; we were once a team, pretending the rocks and trees in our backyard were bases. He was my best friend. I can still hear his voice echoing through the breeze explaining to me the right way to throw a ball in a line hard enough to make it to his glove; I still feel his bat between my fingers. Back then, I was his teammate, not his spectator. I felt nothing could ever pull us apart. But things change; we grew and discovered that even though we are twins, we are not the same person. It took one year of softball to make me realize there was no dazzle hidden in the clay of the baseball diamond. I hated standing in the middle of the Georgia heat, having absolutely no escape from the sun blazing down onto my back. I just plain could not stand softball. But my brother fell in love with baseball. He saw what I never could see. He practiced and excelled and even came to outshine the diamond he ran around, proving to me that I could never be him. But that was okay for I soon discovered the beauty hidden between the pages of books, the magic in words, and I held on tight. From then on, I would escape the clamor of a baseball game to instead lose myself in other worlds I uncovered by reading. In these worlds, I fit in. I didn’t have to feel out of step with my brother, always arriving two minutes too late.
As we grew, I began to feel more comfortable sharing my world with my brother. We took the first steps toward friendship again as we entered high school. No longer were we on separate teams it seemed, but rather two pieces creating the whole that we once were. These four years have flown by us leaving us breathless as the date of graduation approaches. I have spent eighteen years living in his shadow, but I don’t mind, for he shares the light when it finds us. Throughout everything, he has never released his grip from my hand, and I am sure that even as we embark on two separate journeys, two completely different paths, he will always remain by my side, explaining how best to proceed. He will always be my best friend. He is the athlete, the star; I am the one who scribbles dreams.