When kids play baseball, they are often taught to “chatter” at the person at bat, a defensive strategy to unnerve the batter. When I played, I was a coordinated kid who tended to worry about the team.

Hey batter, batter, batter
Hey batter, no batter, batter
Hey batter, batter, batter…

For me, it was indeed unnerving, especially the “swing” part. Chatter often took me out of the moment of the pitch, the ball, and my bat. Even without chatter, it was hard to inhibit the urge to swing at a ball that was headed toward me. But as any ball player knows, sometimes the best response looks like no response. If you can keep watching a bad pitch and keep from swinging, the pitch counts against the other team. If you keep getting bad pitches and manage to stay there at home base, looking ready to swing, but not swinging, you get a “walk”, which means a free trip to first base, by just watching carefully and not acting.

It snowed last night. I was watching local news and they were talking about the “treacherous” driving conditions in Seattle. This was a bit amusing because they also reported that there was only 1/3 of an inch of snow. Even in Seattle, a very hilly city that doesn’t get a lot of snow, this was more than a bit much. The local news loves to chatter about all kinds of exaggerated dangers.

I awoke this morning to a bit more snow than I expected. It was still just an inch but I started to worry. What if my 9:30 am patient’s parents were uncomfortable with snow driving? There are a lot of micro-climates where I live and they were coming from south King County, which typically gets a lot more snow. Then I checked my email. There was, indeed, a note from the patient’s mom, asking if the appointment was still happening.  Still in bed, I mustered my best professional voice, I called the mom. She said that she was comfortable driving to the appointment so we kept it as is.

I thought, “I’d better get up now so that I have time to get the snow off of the car.” I also had a number of other chores to do, one being an unexpected search for the wool sock I’ve been knitting. I noticed that I had forgotten to put away my knitting bag last night. “Oh no!” My cats have disrupted so many knitting projects in the past, that I’ve learned to keep my knitting bag put away in a storage bench that they are unable to open. My sock was missing without a trace! I scurried around looking for the sock, keeping my eye on the clock, and telling myself, “You don’t have time to look for the sock!”

My brain was chattering away and I was walking willy nilly from room to room looking for the sock and getting ready for work. At one point I got a glance out the window. I stopped and looked. I saw our 60-year-old Douglas Fir full of snow against a perfectly blue sky. I watched and experienced the moment of still, chatter-free beauty. I immediately relaxed and started breathing more deeply.

Sometimes we need to swing for the bleachers. Other times we just need to observe the moment and do nothing. In that moment I chose to be in it, absorbing the beauty around me.

Take your base.