Clang. Whoa!!! Yeah!!! The cheers rise as the basket is made. The game is afoot. Yes, the player has scored a perfect moment of success. A raucous match of wit and skill is in play on the periphery of my little world and I have no idea who the players are nor do I feel it matters.
When I was searching for a home, a basketball court was not even a dust speck on a footnote on my criteria list. My list was more practical: affordable, of course; reasonable commute, naturally; but, nothing about a basketball court. While searching, I looked at a number of houses that generally filled my requirements; but, I was never quite taken with any of them. One day, I was on my way, once again, to see the realtor at her office and I thought I’d stop for breakfast. As I ate my McSomething, I looked out the window. I saw a cleared field on the ridge across the street where townhouses were under construction. At that moment, I knew exactly where I was going to live.
I kept silent when the realtor told me that she wanted to show me something a little
different that day. When she pulled into the construction lot, I simply smiled to myself.
The house was little more than frame, floor and foundation at that point. However, as I climbed the stairs to the main level, I could envision the house in its finished form as clear as day. There’d be lots of light because there were windows everywhere, great big windows. Being a bit claustrophobic, I was happy to see that all the ceilings were at breathing height. The land to the rear of the house was zoned as greenspace so I’d have a view of trees. I love trees. Part of that view included a basketball court. That made me feel oddly happy at the time without really knowing why.
Over the years, the sounds of that basketball court have rippled into my little world.
Though the trees have grown to obscure the view, in truth, it’s the sounds that speak to me; the sneaker squeeks, the rim clangs, the rhythmic thumping of the ball. In them, I hear the harmony, discord and the hallelujah chorus of the world at play. I hear the sloppy bounces and giggling of the little ones who’ve wandered over from the adjacent playground accompanied by their mom’s proud cheering. I hear teenage angst running up and down the court at a furious pace, feet stomping, each throw paired with grunting, purging some injustice out of their system. I hear the solitary soul’s pensive dribbling at sunset rhythmic, like a metronome, punctuating an internal dialogue. I hear the dreamer on a moonlit night absently dribbling and tossing ideas out and seeing what lands. On a weekend morning, such as this, as I lay under the covers the sun pressing in through the blinds, I hear a group just gathering for a game. There is nonchalant, indecipherable
banter and my mind sees balls looped through the air and snatched by deft hands. As the game progresses, enthusiasm flares and dogs bark both theirs and, in turn, mine, call and response. I hear feet charge up the court spurred on by chants “Alright, alright, alriiiight!” Yes, all is right in my world.