Clyde, Time was: We jumped into mud puddles with both feet

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 11, 2018

Time was, we had mud puddles. Big ones, too big to drive through, so you had to go around.

Together with ruts and side ditches, mud puddles made it hard to get around. You had to pay attention. Driving instructors drilled you on keeping your hands on the wheel at 10 and 2 o’clock. R.C. Cola was good at 10, 2 and 4 or anytime with a Moon Pie.

On a rainy day you could get by with walking right into a mud puddle. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, Algebra I, Mrs. Simmons. There was always a puddle at the bottom of the sliding board.

When no one was looking and, without your mother to scold you, you instinctively and gleefully jumped with both feet, splashing a big wave onto the next wimpy kid in the cafeteria line. It was never your fault and you didn’t even see who did it. The whole class suffered.

Not until we got a little older and went to Luther’s Catechism did we discover original sin:

“In deeds we carefully avoid every act which would bring the blush of shame to our cheeks if it were known to our parents or others whose opinions we cherish. Our bodies are to be God’s temple, and they dare not be given over to sin and impurity. We should remember that God sees even in secret, and knows all our actions. This is most certainly true.”

So go about your lazy willy-willy ways, for the carefree summer days are on their way. Seems there are fewer dirt paths to get somewhere these days and more rules and laws why you cannot do something that used to be free for the taking. Too many sidewalks.

It’s time we “wandered lonely on a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills when all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils,” as Wordsworth said.

Not too many cloud watchers these days. Too busy. Ever notice how poets are busiest in the springtime. What with all those bud’s bursting and red, red robins coming bob-bob-bobbing along.

There are daisy or clover blossom chains to be strung, grass whistles to be sung, snow drops to be rung and four-leaf clovers to be pressed under glass to be hung.

The signs of our next spring are there, if you can ever spare the time away from your electronic marvels and your maligned materialistic millennial friends are not too bored inside their box to get their $230 Yeezys soiled by touching real dirt. Heaven forbid.

“The world is too much with us, late and soon.”

How far would you have to go to find a sienna-red mud puddle in your life? Would the Visitor Center help you or would you just get an answering machine impersonal message? Would the Yankee tour guide recite too much information? Would Mr. Hannah and the storm water boys analyze the contents of the mud puddle? They would find “Benthic macro Invertebrate Sampling reveals Anisoptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera, Megaloptera, Psephenidae and Amphipoda. And you wondered why the fees are so high, for God-given rainwater. Please, we don’t want to know.

Just enjoy the “panem et circenses” (bread and circus) provided by the government to appease discontent. Meanwhile, ‘Spress yosef’ by working outdoors. Paint in colors that match. Don’t dwell on illness and rainy days. Do bee a smiley face, Mr. Rodgers. “So get up, you sleepy head, get out of bed. Live, love, laugh and be happy.”

Go jump in a puddle but don’t put your dirty feet on the furniture.

Clyde is a Salisbury artist.

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