Bliss and the Ordinary Moment

On a quiet street in northern Indiana, my aunts and I sit in comfy chairs watching a Cubs game.

It’s the bottom of the sixth, tied 3-3. We eat dinner; there’s the sourdough bread and black bean soup they know I like and the thick, warm smell of pasta and pork they made.

Get it together, we call at the pitcher on TV. We armchair coaches with napkins on our knees know what he needs to do. Geez, oh, geez! we throw up our hands when he does not do what we know he needs to do.

On the quiet street, the quiet sun pulls the light down with it. My aunts’ bird feeder gets one last dinner guest, a cardinal the sharp red of holly berries.

Inside, the game dips into the 10th inning. My aunts do the dishes. No, they tell me, you can’t help. They get out a box of chocolates they’ve been working on each night.

I ask one of my aunts what position she’d want on a baseball team. Something with action, she says, maybe short stop. Catcher, I say, brutal on the knees, but a veritable coach on the field.

We are at the top of the 14th. Each inning brings new pitchers, men announcers know little about. They’re grabbing guys from concession stands with good-sized arms, we decide.

Our dinner and dessert are long done, the dishes likely dry. This game will never end, my aunts declare.

Part of me hopes it won’t. For this is bliss, isn’t it? A Cubs game, a full stomach, loving companions. It is enough.

And sometimes we are reminded on a quiet street in northern Indiana that bliss needs little more than the ordinary moment to arrive.

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