Mud puddle fumble rip tide and rumble. Here we go we’re getting clean. This fall is savoring its every breath and lasting longer than I can remember in recent memory. The colors haven’t even really yet begun to change.

Yesterday was a sight to behold. All the kids covered from head to toe in rain gear, running around like astronauts, barreling through their rubber layers…just pounding away at the mud. Jumping so hard and so deep it splashed into their faces, their mouths, their eyes. Covering themselves and laughing raucously and spilling themselves around. They were just wild with mudluscious lust for life. With rocks and worms and radiant sounds that bounce off of rain and dance through your brain. They were just sprinting at the speed of hope.

Now everything is blowing in every direction and I remember that cold sister friend winter and how she peeks into my skin, swivels up my spine and will not let me move my fingers. That echo of winter is peering through the sky and it is shaking its tiny fist and waiting to come blow me down again. Cold you can feel in your pores. Cold makes you aware, so aware, so intimately aware of your body. Of your sinews and limbs and appendages and the warmth within you that is not enough to course through every tiny bone. Cold you can feel under your skin, touching right at your marrow. Cold is coming, I am never ready. I am always waiting. It always wakes me up, shakes me down, buries me under the ground, puts me in a chrysalis, and waits for me to hatch. It is that deep walking. It is that dark night of the soul thickness of life which wraps around you like some half-remembered lullaby you can’t sleep to. It is always a strangely messy gift I never want to open. And it is coming for me whether I like it or not. This is life taking me by the hand and leading me down that misty bramble path.

“Ideas are clean.  They soar in the serene supernal.  I can take them out and look at them, they fit in a book, they lead me down that narrow way.  And in the morning they are there.  Ideas are straight.  But the world is round, and a messy mortal is my friend.  Come walk with me in the mud.”  -Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself

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