In Australia we became aware of the game of cricket. Go figure... cricket was part of the school sports days, the local teachers who were former exchangees made sure we learned some of the basics, and we all tried a few runs and hits of the ball. Complicated enough to keep me asking questions. Friends from the state of Queensland, Penny and Ted (often referred to as Ped and Tenny by me), are quite cricket mad (in a good way...!). Penny took her time to acquaint me with some of the esoteric (or so it seemed to me) aspects of the game, and answered my naive questions. Their son participated in Cricket Australia's Indigenous XI tour last year. He and several friends went on a journey of discovery as they tried to piece together what it must have been like for those first sporting tourists one hundred and forty years earlier, and have produced several films and slide shows that they have posted on YouTube.
I'm having moments of discovery this summer, even though I'm supposedly trapped in my home city and not far from work any given week. Much of my discovery circles around the experiences of Canada's indigenous population in the last 100 years, residential schools, reconciliation, oral stories. To see the young men of this century tracing the journey of a group of indigenous players is another moment of transcendence -- current technology provides the eyes through which to journey into the past.
The game is still complicated to me. It's not complicated to someone who has been part of the sport since they could walk, who continue to strive for excellence no matter the century.