Baseball has never really held any importance in my life–I only played sandlot versions of it as a kid, I’ve never been to a pro game–but for whatever reason, I have always enjoyed baseball movies. Kevin Costner has three that I enjoy–For Love of the Game, Bull Durham, and of course, Field of Dreams. Of the three, Field of Dreams is my favorite, which at its heart, is really a movie about things unsaid and dreams unfulfilled.
One of the central points is the relationship between an Iowa farmer, Ray Cansela, and his father. When Ray’s father died, their relationship had deteriorated, and Ray was left full of regrets. The first lines of the movie after the initial monologue, are the iconic “If you build it, they will come.” Well, Ray builds it, and they do come–and eventually, Ray gets to “have a catch” with his father. The room always gets dusty during that scene.
Can you imagine having the opportunity to go back in time and have a conversation with your father when he was in the prime of his life? We all have photo albums with pictures of our parents when they were “our age.” They look so different, so young. Would your dad be kind, cool, a jerk, a loser? What would you say to your father’s 25-year-old self?
I picture my dad as Otter from the Delta House, who then enlisted in the army to serve in Vietnam. He was always up for a good time, and I would definitely have enjoyed having a beer with him. The kids came along and from that point on, his family always came first.
Field of Dreams is a movie that I have seen dozens of times, and after each viewing, I pick up the phone and give my dad a call. I don’t think we’ve ever had a profound soul-searching conversation, but I like to think there isn’t anything left unsaid between us.