A soft rainy end to Phillip Hughes’ birthday here in Sydney today. What a thing.

Every day is a gift but sometimes we’re reminded of that in a vast public arena where we didn’t expect to notice. We go there to look the other way. Death happens out in our suburbs or country towns, in hospital wards or at intersections. Not at the SCG.

The sunburnt monotony of weekend cricket games has always been an existential terror to me.

Third Grade games at empty ovals, a position out in the field and the universe, endless, pointless.

#putyourbatsout has eased the terror and pointed to a meaning I’d never seen. Those games are lives being lived, not surrendered. It’s mates and effort and dreams, good health and weary sleep in back bedrooms at the end of a long day at the crease or in the field. It’s practice and ephemeral perfection.

There’s all sorts of love in that. And love has meaning.

Phillip Hughes.


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