Mud is a wondrous creation. Not quite dry earth and not quite wet enough to be a pool of water. Mud is in a state of in between. That not so wondrous time in our life when we are neither here nor there.
I live in the in between a lot. I don’t know how to do anything else. I always seem to be in the middle. I don’t look too far ahead and I don’t care to reminisce about the past or return to it. The in between suits me fine, well, on most occasions anyway. I guess I am a creature that belongs in mud. It feels comfortable. It feels real. It feels like home.
Mud is a parents nightmare, especially when their children are all dressed up, fancy life, ready to go somewhere important and when you take your eye off of them for just a smidgen of a moment, those little buggers manage to find some and dirty their perfectly ironed outfit. Why would they do that?
Why wouldn’t they? After all it’s mud and there is nothing in the world quite like it. There isn’t and there never will be.
People complain a lot about a lot of things and the things they do a lot of moaning and groaning about are usually things that give them life. They groan about their work, their relationships, and in general how unfair things seem to be. They complain and spend their time trying to stay clean. Trying to avoid getting dirty, but the things they have are a gift.
I’m not saying that being a butcher when you want to be a dancer is something to get excited over. What I am saying that if you don’t like being a butcher, somewhere there is meat packer that dreams of doing what you are doing. They can’t do what they want, because you’re in their place, and you can’t do what you want because someone is in yours. And so we dance this dance, unwilling or unable to break free and get dirty.
We don’t want to be uncomfortable. We don’t want change. Change is that state of in-between. Not quite there and not quite here either. Change is exactly like mud.
This is why children love mud. It’s new and exciting. They have seen and lived clean and know exactly what that feels like. They want something different. They want something new. Kids can’t believe how wonderful life is and that there is always more and more to explore. There is more and more wonderful candy to be had. There are more and more toys to be played with. There is an abundance of wealth in their world, in our world, and then we grow up and lose our sense of wonder.
It happens to all of us. We wake up and grow up and abandon getting muddy and uncomfortable. We lose faith that whatever it is you dream of being is yours for the taking. We are beaten down to be a meaningless cog in a wheel. A cog that consumes and watches their life pass them by like a subscription service.
We need to get back to that sense of wonder we had as children. We have to frustrate our parents once again. We have to begin once again to find the in between. We have to get dirty.
We have to get muddy.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Karen Maes.