Monday, April 11, 2011

Happiness is...a mud puddle.

Spring has been a bit elusive around these parts, as I think it has been just about everywhere this year.  Our temperatures sky rocket to 80+ degrees one day then plummet back down into the 40s the next.  Our sky is nearly always a steely gray with nary a hint of blue in sight.  Sunshine in its truest form is but a memory.

But things have been looking up the past few days.  Saturday I went hiking with a good friend and while it was still overcast and a bit gloomy, once we got moving we were warm enough in just our jackets.  Plus, we'd had rain by the buckets full the day before so everything had that just-washed look about it, the colors brighter and crisper, the air fresher. One could almost begin to believe that spring was on its way.

And then today, summer hit.  My light sweater turned me into a soggy, sweaty mess by the end of my lunchtime walk and my roommate convinced me we should have ice cream for dinner.  (Never fear. Though I'm sleeping with the windows open tonight tomorrow is supposed to be back in the much?!)

But back to the mud.  A puddle incites thoughts of splashing and childhood.  There's something tempting, alluring, forbidden about puddles as an adult.  There's no rule that says I can't splash about in a puddle (and I have been known to do so on occasion) and yet rarely does one succumb to the urge. (Please tell me I'm not the only one to have those kinds of urges!) It's silly. It's messy. You can't expect me to walk around in wet shoes/pants for the rest of the day. And fill that puddle with mud instead of the relatively harmless rain water and the danger factor grows exponentially. And everyone knows that more danger = more temptation.

Mud puddles also hold a bit of mystery.  Regular puddles are open and honest.  There's no doubt about what they hold at their depths. You almost feel as if you could lean down and drink from them or put the water to good use nourishing a nearby plant or animal.  Mud on the other hand is opaque and murky. Who knows what lies at the bottom? And because of that opacity you get a unique reflection of the world around it.  It's not a true mirrored reflection with realistic colors and recognizable features but a monochromatic Wonderland or Looking Glass world, bent and rippled and a little less known than our own. They always seem a bit more magical to me, like a goblin or elf is hiding just below the surface looking back at me without my knowledge, safe in his muck and mire.

Here are a few of my mud puddle mirrors and proofs of my springtime rambles.  Enjoy!

Now, go out and find a natural wonder of your own and don't forget to tell me all about it!

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