My son was on his Middle School basketball team, not because he was much of a player, but because he wrote a letter. He didn't play much, but he once told me, that didn't matter. He got in a time or two. He was in the game.
After having missed the cut, he'd written the coach and thanked him for the chance. Told him he was just excited about contributing anything to something he thought was worthwhile and exciting. The coach put him on the team anyway. He was in the game.
And so it has gone with me and amateur astronomy. A childhood passion. An adulthood yearning in the backseat. But for so many years, if I couldn't do it right, I wouldn't do it. No big telescope, no observatory, no driving to dark sky sites as in my youth, why do it. Light pollution. Late nights, plenty of excuses. So I started writing letters to the coach, alot of other people did too. We were each others coaches in the Spyglass Network. We didn't want to start, but we still believed in it, it was worthwhile or had been. It had been exciting.
So finally one day I found a little telescope at the thrift store, but it was a little more special than the standard old junked refractor. It had a standard eyepiece diagnal. A short focus. A sturdy little mounting. I could add a simple finder. I knew somehow when I saw it .. well, the coach was offering me a spot on the team.
I could play a little. I could be back in the game. On terms my life could accept now, just pulling it out for a quick view of Saturn, or the moons of Jupiter, or any number of old sky objects lodged in my memory. So I started again. And it felt good. And somehow all those problems with it, well I didnt have to be good at it. I was just on the team somehow again. I was in the game!