It’s funny; even during the warm months of fall and spring, when basketball season is coming near or drawing to a close, and only handfuls of people occupy the gym, the pool, or the tennis courts, I can still hear it.
I push through the sticky slow doors of Baker Sports Complex and swipe my ID card that never works, harshly reminding me of that with a grating beep. I walk past the stairs that lead to the Wildcat Den (best soups, sandwiches, and cookies in Western North Carolina, best people in the world), and stare through the glass walls in front of me into the sparkling slick vacant basketball arena. I know if I walked inside it would be hushed with the eerie, stagnant tranquility of the off season.
But I still hear it ringing in my ears.
Silent echoes of cheers, chants, music blaring over the speakers, announcers and fans wildly putting sound and meaning into the otherwise quiet swish of a ball through a net.
It shivers in my bones and lands in a quiet smile on my face. This place is filled with memories of energy that has been, and thankfully, with frenzy and jubilation and possibility that will be. The silence makes sacred what will happen again...