They say if you love something, let it go. If it comes back it was always yours. And that’s what baseball did. For over 100 years, America was faithful to its pastime. But, as most relationships do, the marriage became strained. The honeymoon phase turned into passionless comfort turned into wandering eyes and exploration of greener pastures.

Through it all, baseball took the high road. It kept the door open and told us that we were welcome back at any time. It would be there, as it always has, on hot summer nights and cool autumn evenings, waiting to provide us with joy.

Baseball never left. We left.

It’s not really our fault. We are born to stray. This beautiful and simple game we learn as children is tough to reconcile as life gets more complicated. Baseball is nothing if not one historic fairy tale after another, a game inextricably tied to the past and nostalgia. To love it is to buy into all the hokey mysticism and purity it’s selling. To grow up is to learn that life is not like this, to see the world differently. There’s a disconnect.

A child’s love for a children’s’ game is a special thing. But last night, as the best Game 7 of the best World Series of the best sport entered the ninth inning, along came a heartwarming discovery.

There is no joy like having the mind of an adult, but the heart of a child. There is no joy like letting something back into your heart, to embrace a forgotten love.

For one night America came together for a transformative and emotional time warp. No matter how many years we’ve been away, we felt right at home as the Cubs and Indians heroically performed on arguably the biggest stage baseball has ever had.

How many of us drifted off in a sea of memories? How many of us felt ageless? Those are far more interesting qualifiable questions than the quantifiable ones about ratings or the sport’s future.

Better writers will speak to the brilliance and majesty of baseball at length. Gallons of ink has been spilled waxing poetic on the subject.

What America forgot is that it’s all true. Every seemingly over-the-top bit of flowery prose ever written about baseball is true, if the reader is willing to believe it. I’m not ashamed to admit I felt magic last night because I think you felt it too.

Baseball never left. We left.

It’s damn good to be home again, no matter how long we’ve been away.