“Synchronicity is an ever present reality, for those with eyes to see.” –Carl Jung, Psychologist
Last night I had an incredible experience at the Giants game that has not only inspired this post, but has renewed my faith in life, and all it’s amazingness.
Before last night, I honestly hadn’t cared all that much about the return of baseball this year. Since baseball was a huge bond between me and my dad, there’s been a lot of bittersweetness surrounding the sport now that he’s gone. Part of my indifference also stems from the fact that so many players I loved (including my favorite, Angel Pagan) are no longer on the team, and another part of it is also because I’ve simply had too many other things on my mind, especially after deciding recently to quit a soul-sucking job. Between all of that, I just haven’t felt excited for baseball season to start, which is most unusual for me.
I had purchased tickets to Opening Night a few months back (when I’d felt more excited about the idea), and since I already had the tickets, I was going. I decided to invite my fabulous friend Leslie, whom I haven’t seen since we went to the Metallica Night ballgame in May of last year, and we made plans to meet at the game.
Once I got off the train in San Francisco, I couldn’t help but feel excited once I saw the ballpark and was immersed in all that amazing energy. I felt like I was home. As the game progressed, I realized how happy I was to be there. Our seats were pretty high up, but they were right behind home plate, and the people in our section were a blast.
About the 5th inning, my friend and I went wandering for sweets and beers. She was particularly craving a cookie, and someone told us they had great cookies on the main level a few floors below. We found the stand we were looking for, but the line was a mile long. She passed on the cookie, but spontaneously grabbed us some pretty sweet seats on the third base line underneath the overhang, out of the incoming rain. We settled into our new seats after we found fresh beers.
Sooner or later, we also found Bob. Bob was the usher of our section, and he could have kicked us out, because we had massively upgraded our seats and technically weren’t supposed to be there. Toward the end of the game, Bob and I randomly struck up a conversation about the current state of the outfield. “You’re a real fan, aren’t you?” he asked. I told him how I was raised on baseball and how my dad had attended the first game ever at Seals Stadium in 1958. “I was at that game too!” he told me.
One piece of the puzzle lead to another. “I was raised on 29th and Church”, Bob said. “Wow, my dad grew up right there too,” I replied. “What year was your dad born?” he asked. “1943”, I answered. “I was born in 1943 too!” he exclaimed. “What was his name?” I told Bob that my dad’s name was Rich Nielsen. Bob looked at me in amazement. “Rich Nielsen? Is that the same Rich Nielsen that died in a car accident? He was my best friend in grammar school.”
Thus began the newfound friendship of Christina and Bob. We talked nonstop for the last inning of the game and until the ballpark had cleared out. We shared stories of our families, and I promised to bring my mom to a game soon and sit in his section. We gave each other a big hug goodbye and commented on how amazing it was that we met each other. It felt like my dad was completely present in spirit. He would have loved that this happened.
I’ve been kind of doubting the existence of a magical universe lately, which is not like me. My faith in people isn’t as strong as it used to be, for a number of reasons. But this experience came along to prove me wrong and remind once more what an incredible world we live in, and that my baseball world in particular has always been filled with these amazingly synchronistic stories. I also best keep writing, since writing is something I was born to do.
Out of the tens of thousands of people at AT&T Park, of all the sections I could sit in, I happened to walk into his. Wow.