Midweek Musing. On sport and grace.

To the side of the spotlight, not quite in the shadows, but not entirely in the light, stand two 'losers'. Behind them, off court and far from Melbourne already, are others. Tennis players who are not showered with glory, but who have shone, none-the-less.

The two 'losers' on finals weekend stood in their mixed emotions with honesty and with generosity. Clearly disappointed not to have won this final match, they had the presence of mind, the generosity towards themselves and their teams, to see and to name what they had, indeed, won this fortnight.

They had overcome injuries severe enough to bring with them the fear of losing the gift of tennis altogether.
They had been accompanied by teams, loyal, courageous friends, families, mentors, enduring tough times with hope.
They had been cheered on by crowds here in Australia, and around the world.
They had won renewed respect of their colleagues, the some-time opponents, companions in this strange and fierce world they inhabit.
They had claimed back joy in their work and life.

Many of the players in the shadows, on the planes to the next tournament or home for a rest, have likewise 'won' much during this Australian summer of tennis. So many reached new stages of major tournaments, made statements on court to the tennis world that they were ready, coming, here, on the big stage, and planning to stay so make room!

The two finalists, in their moment of disappointment let it show; and also saw clearly enough the bigger picture to be able to name in the midst of the disappointment their gratitude for what they have won, achieved, received. Of this beauty all humans are capable, though sadly many of us fall short.

This humanity is full and healthy, because it is connected to other humans and not centered on the self; it is secure and humble, generous and kind to the self and to others.

May we look to the gracious, grateful 'losers' as we reflect on the summer of tennis in Australia, as much as we appreciate the stellar, and gracious, champions.


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