Many of have our own "signs" - the things we take from our lives that seem to suggest a deeper force in the universe. Most of these signs are mundane - a breeze here, a coincidental encounter there.
This week, though, I found my superstitious sign that something very different - very special - is happening. That sign came in the form of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Since I was a child, I can remember the Phillies - and every Philadelphia team - losing...always losing. In 1993, they broke my heart with their dramatic World Series loss. I sometimes wonder whether growing up a Philadelphia sports fan made me a progressive by giving me an appreciation for - a devotion to - rooting for underdogs.
Tonight, the Phillies won the World Series, making them the first Philadelphia team to go all the way for the first time in my conscious life (I was 6 years old the last time a Philadelphia team won a championship, so that doesn't count). I can rationalize away professional sports as just some stupid game - a contest of wealthy corporations designed as a distraction while our world goes to sh*t. And it is that on one level - but it is also a thing to follow, to cling to, to feel a part of. And so this is a special night for anyone who has felt that connection for the last three decades.
This win, coming six days before the election, is my sign that we are indeed on the precipice of something special. Though baseball and elections have almost nothing to do with each other, for a superstitious guy like me, the Phillies win is the equivalent of the stars or the moons aligning for this coming Tuesday.
To be sure, if you told me a few years ago that the Philadelphia Phillies would win the World Series in the same week America elects its first African American president, I would have told you you were crazy - but I might also have told you that if one of those unlikely events was going to happen, perhaps they both would happen at the same time. And perhaps they will.