November 28, 2011
By Jake Salesky BRONZE, New City, New York
Jake Salesky BRONZE, New City, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Dear Journal,
I always enjoy spending my leisure time in nature. Today, the moment I opened my back door onto my deck, the cool, fresh air rushed into my nose and exhaled all the stress and drowsiness that overwhelmed me from the school day. Carrying my light brown Under Armour football, I walked across the deck and placed the ball on my little plastic orange tee already stationed in the middle of the deck. Looking up at the trees that run parallel vertically about 15 yards down at the end of the deck, I took some steps back and ran up to the tee, driving the ball up through the trees. I watched the ball fly across the lawn as a projectile, soaring over the little wiffleball field and drilling the top of the fence that marks the boundary of my backyard. The ball rebounded off the fence and travelled about 10 yards right to the middle of the field.
My favorite time of the year to go outside and play around in nature is the early fall. This time of the year is filled with the warm weather left over from summer, without the extra heat and a little cool taste instead.
I walked over to the wiffleball field. My steps cracked the brown, rigid leaves that rest on the ground under my feet. The field has been grooved into a baseball field due to the years and years of games that have been played there. Just then, I overheard a few construction men working on a roof across the street. I thought about all the sounds that my friends and I have made during our games – the sound of the bat hitting the ball, the noisy chatter between the teams, and the unsportsmanlike celebration of a homerun. I reach for the skinny yellow bat with its old, once-sticky black hockey tape around the handle. It’s covered in dirt, which I have to shake off by slamming it up against a tree.
The difference between nature and being inside is that nature is dirty. The area around home plate is completely composed of dirt and rock; no hope for grass to grow exists. Being in nature gives me an excuse to get dirty. I picked up an old wiffleball resting in the dirt by home plate. I step to the left side of the plate because in wiffleball, I’ve declared myself a left-handed hitter. Tossing the ball in the air, I quickly wrapped both hands around the bat and took a hack at the ball, aiming for the fence. Unfortunately, I sliced the ball foul, chipping the ball only a few feet from home plate. I snatched the ball and tried again. This time the ball connected with the bat with that crisp, loud crack – the sound of a well-hit ball. I observed as the ball soared up into the trees, just as the football had. Only this time, the abundant leaves of the trees hindered the ball’s flight and it was lost as it scattered around the branches over right-center field, trying to keep the ball in the park. But the trees’ efforts were unsuccessful for the ball suddenly reappeared through the cracks of light in the trees as it disappeared once again behind the fence. Homerun.

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