We are all time travelers whether we know that or not. What I mean is that we spend much of our lives either looking backwards at past events and hope to re-live the joys or make different choices to stem the pain. We hop forward into time and play with realities that have not yet come to pass as a way, I guess to amplify the chances that we re-live those experiences eventually with maximum joy and minimal pain. And in that way, time is also a flat circle, I suppose.
Living in the present, however, is the only time in which we have actual agency. We can’t undo the past and we can’t control the future, but we’ve got choices now and the choice I’m deciding on is, in this brief pause between our last fixture and our final fixture of the season, to stop and drink in all of this goodness. Because time is also on an unceasing and quick-tempo march and I want to remember this team and this time.
A few weeks ago, I took my baby out for a hike up a trail near our home. It’s an easy foot path - paved most of the way, though entirely uphill so pushing her in the stroller definitely gave me the workout I needed for the day. While out on the trail, an older gentleman passed me up and, looked into the stroller, catching my daughter in the middle of a giggle fit. He smiled, turned, and asked how old she was. I answer that she’d just turned 7 months old. He looked at me, eyes glinting, and told me to enjoy every moment. His son had just turned 10 years old that past weekend, you see, and he remained amazed at how fast the years had flown by. Soak it all in - it goes by too fast.
When we made it home, I relayed the conversation to my wife and we both marveled at how this little bundle that I once was able to cradle in the space from my hand to my elbow was suddenly too heavy to carry for long stretches of time. How she used to sleep on my chest and now doing that would mean I’d have a very hard time catching my breath. How even though I’d promised myself to soak it all in during those wild and blurry and sleep-deprived days fresh from the hospital, it still felt like time was getting away from me.
Soak it all in.
It does go by too fast.
Liverpool fans - especially those of us that have come onboard more recently - are more familiar with disappointment than with glory. I missed out on Rafa’s two Champions League finals appearances. I wasn’t around for Istanbul. I don’t know how to keep my chill during this time.
And the reality of Liverpool Football Club during my tenure as a fan has been one of halting progress and false dawns. The brilliance of 2013-2014 being followed up by the dour 2014-2015 campaign. Signing Luis Suarez but losing Fernando Torres. Signing Roberto Firmino but having lost Luis Suarez. Balance and equity as terms applied to Liverpool meant that we were running in quicksand - all motion and no gain.
So excuse me if I know that right now is too special, too precious, too rare to not enjoy fully. To not remember this squad pull together after losing Coutinho and give us performance after performance worthy of immortalizing. To forget the time I nearly was forced to move to Sacramento because the Reds dropped 5 on Roma while I watched at a pub. To forget how this was exactly the thing I signed up for when I chose to adopt Liverpool Football Club as my team: those glorious European Nights.
So, I’ll soak it all in. All of it. I’ll remember the big goals and the perfect Jurgen quips. I’ll muse over the Instagram stories and drop as many brates into conversation as I can. Because I’ve never been here before and I’ve been waiting 8 long years for a moment like this. Because this is a team worth falling in love with and time changes things too quickly.
Enjoy this pause before the madness to reflect on your favorite moments and favorite plays and favorite wins. Enjoy it because this is what it’s like to finally see the sun rising on the horizon after a long night in the wilderness. Soak in that sun. Soak it all in, Reds.