Early Sunday morning, I drove Henry up to San Francisco to watch him play soccer. I seized the opportunity to capture my weekly photographs for Helena's meme Look Up//Look Down. I took them with my phone and converted them to black and white in instagram. Looking up at the at the venue's sign and down at the bleachers. I love this pair from a photographic stand point. I found myself wishing that I had brought along my big camera, but I'm not sure I could have done better with the DSLR.
I love watching soccer. I love the beauty of the warm-ups as the players dance across the field. I love the way they kneel before the kick off, grabbing a tuft of grass, kissing it and making a quick sign of the cross when the whistle blows. I love the fluidity of the ball as it moves down the field; the ebb and flow of "the beautiful game."
Today Henry is playing with Cometa, the local men's team. As they play, I think about this team. There's our neighbor Bob - he's over 50 but still plays every minute of the game and holds up the defense. There's Migue (nicknamed "Caballo" because he is as fast and strong as a horse) and his brother Andres, both of whom Henry played with in high school. There's Oscar and Ricky, in their early 30's. At one point in time, every one on the team was related to their father, Oscar, Sr. The club was the town's Mexican team, and Oscar's brothers, sons, nephews, uncles and cousins would all come to play. The other local team was sponsored by the Portuguese Culture Center and made up of Portuguese players. Now the team has expanded, and I am grateful. This is the team that Henry joined when he first returned to club soccer several years ago - Bob encouraged him to try out for Juventus, the age appropriate club team he made and played with for the last few years. This is the team that welcomes Henry back whenever he is between teams or needs a place to train. This the the team that, in fact, looks after all the local soccer players, giving them a place to play and a continuing sense of community. Cometa translates to Comet, which the dictionary defines as a "celestial body moving about the sun, usually in a highly eccentric orbit, consisting of a central mass surrounded by an envelope of dust." That sounds about right.