We share finite space and time in an infinite universe. And in that space, we struggle together on a hostile planet to share moments of joy and sadness, achievement and loss, hope and despair. Amidst that vastness, our lives become united in our shared experience called Red Sox Nation.
Red Sox Nation has never represented membership cards, Sox Appeal, or even the media frenzy surrounding tonight's celebration of an American League East champion ship. People drive a little more courteously, smile more easily, and food even tastes better when our boys win. We suffer the defeats less well, although the World Series of 2004 vanquished memories of Loserville.
The 'panic button' never came out this year, and as close as the competition came, I always had the same assurance for coworkers and patients, "the Yankee fans experience what we formerly owned", the anticipation of something that would not happen, the corruption of broken dreams. Mariano Rivera, Sox nemesis incarnate, failing in the clutch, and the lowly Orioles dismissing the mighty Bombers.
Tonight the Sox from grizzled veterans like Schilling and Timlin, basking in the dwindling sunshine of lengthy careers, celebrate anew with rookies Pedroia, Ellsbury, Moss, and even Matsuzaka and Okajima.
What benefit victory? A chance to rest for Ortiz and aching knees, for Youkilis and a sore hand, and for those like Lowell and Varitek who suffered the marathon to get to the postseason.
The doubting among us will say they've done nothing yet, that tonight's events only serve as a prelude to uncertainty and more sore shoulders, balky knees, and strawberries. But those who follow this team season in and season out, night and day, remind them that is simply why we watch, to find out how it ends. Tonight the Sox stepped into liquid, champagne.