The last two days have been mountain gifts. Lots of sunshine, temperatures in the 50s, and unspeakable amounts of mud.
There is mud in the kitchen, on the dog, on the stroller, on every pair of shoes by the door, on the sliding glass door (in hand print form), in hair, ears, eyebrows, and—yesterday—mouths.
It is mud—not green leaves or bright flowers—that signals the arrival of spring. When we don our winter boots with our shorts (unseasonable still, yet completely irresistible) my sons know they can experience nature unencumbered by the bulky preparations of winter outdoor play…they can just GO.
And go they do. With the 18 month old plodding along, wildly swinging one arm for balance and his five year old brother screaming down a mud slick hill on an off-road tricycle, we set off to drain the mud bog that is our driveway. Yet draining isn’t the objective—it is sculpting, moving, plowing, splashing, diverting, destroying, floating, filling, racing, digging, plopping, and discovering the wonders of water and dirt.
How wonderful it is to stick fingers in the icy slurry of melting snow and decomposed granite to discover the very throwable mud underneath. How wonderful it is to get stuck mid-boot, and be lifted out of your boots and unceremoniously set down in your socks in the same icy slurry (oops!). How wonderful it is to jump so hard in puddles that mud droplets are discovered on the inside of your jacket and under your shirt. How wonderful it is to watch your children ease themselves into the natural world like they ease themselves into their favorite sweatshirt (also covered in mud).
Sunset Magazine has an article from author Anne Lamott this month about “Time Lost and Found” in which she concludes, “What fills us is real, sweet, dopey, funny life. I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there…It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day.”
To which I add, “this mud.” Get out and enjoy it while it lasts.