On Sliding into Second Base as a Metaphor for Life

The idea is to make your upper body evaporate while your lower limbs thin into twin javelins. First, commit yourself totally to this risk. Then run as fast as you can, straight ahead. Don’t look back. Don’t look over your shoulder for the ball that may arrive before you. Launch yourself into space just as you near the base; the final leg of this journey must be a leap of faith. Lean back and enjoy it. But stay close to the ground. Hit the dirt like a flat stone skimming the surface of a lake. Sometimes, it’s wise to dissemble: slide to one side of the bag and hook it with your foot as you pass. Perplexing your opponent is never a mistake. As you fall, throw your arms into the air; time to surrender and say one last prayer. You’ve had your chance and taken it. The outcome is out of your hands.

Is this not a metaphor for life, good advice for getting out of a scrape, for surviving a close shave? You’re out there on your own. You’ve managed to find a safe place, however precarious. But you’ve got to move on. Often, someone coming up behind will give you a lift. But if not, you’ve got to do it yourself. In the act of stealing second base, you make it wholly your own. Miraculously, no one expects you to give it back. They respect you for it. Stand up, brush off the dirt, and look around. You’re already halfway home.