My late Mother was fond of saying, “It gets late, early.” As she aged, she went to sleep earlier and earlier and when I remarked about her change in bed time, she would smile and tell me, “It gets late, earlier and earlier.” I had no idea why she said this; furthermore, I had no idea what it really meant, but somehow, it still seemed to make sense to me. I thought about this frequent statement recently and decided to look up its meaning. Much to my surprise, the quote is attributed to Yogi Berra. The statement, in its original form, was “It gets late early out there” and referred to left field in Yankee Stadium, which was impacted by the change in sunlight late in the day, making it difficult for the players to see the ball. Since its inception, the statement has taken on a meaning beyond baseball and into life, in general. I smiled when I read about this, finding it interesting that Mom, the wife of a baseball player (my wonderful Dad, the late Park T. Pigott, Sr.), frequently quoted Yogi Berra. Taken in a general context, the statement is usually interpreted to mean find out what you want to do and do it, before the shadows in the left field of your life are cast over your hopes and dreams. Perhaps the statement means something different for people of different ages, but for Mom, it meant she was finished doing everything she wanted to do for the day and now is the time to do one of her favorite things, get some restful sleep. What does this statement mean to you? Is it getting late early? Is early earlier than it used to be? And, are the shadows in the left field obscuring the things you need or want to do? Once again, I am continuing to learn things from Mom many years after her passing. Thanks, Mom!
This was to be a precursor post to Melissa’s post about her Mom’s South Carolina sayings. I struggled with that post not having experienced similar sayings in my family, though I can’t imagine why I did not. My grandmother did frequently lament that growing old was not for sissies, and we wrote about that previously (https://magnusinsights.com/growing-old-is-not-for-sissies/). We continue to experience the growing old conundrum and have become relative experts on many things based on Leola’s final years and the double header experience I had with my parents. Both of those experiences, as well as some with friends whose health or other circumstances remind us not to take things for granted and to enjoy the time we have in the sun, not shadows. To borrow words from John Lennon, “life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” Blending this idea with Yogi’s idea about things getting late early can be inspirational, if one will let them. Go now, do now, experience life while you can. I’d like to think that life is more than accumulating things, or money. For Melissa and me, experiences are as valuable, maybe more than money and stuff. Determining what one values before it is too late to enjoy is something to consider daily.