Musings: Mud Season

Today’s topic is: “Share a photograph from your childhood and its story.”

If you’re not from New England, you may not have heard of the fifth season of the year: Mud season. It occurs between winter and spring and you’ll know it has arrived when the ground thaws and your car sinks in up to the axles. For more than a century, adults have dreaded the road conditions during this time of year.

 

But as a child, mud season was one of my favorite times of the year!

Mud Season 1982, Phoebe age 5

Mud season meant freedom after a long winter spent indoors. (Did you notice that I’m wearing shorts in this picture? You can bet I was barefoot too.) With a little imagination and a lot of mud, a five-year-old could spend hours creating ‘mud pies’ and other springtime delicacies. But all that hard work makes a young girl peckish, hence the half-eaten Fig Newton (the only store-bought cookie my crunchy-granola parents approved of.)

I love this photo because it illustrates the wonderfully carefree childhood I was given. My parents were back-to-the-landers who grew their own food and earned a living by selling jewelry at craft fairs. By today’s standards, we were poor, but I still believe that I had a privileged upbringing.

Scientists and parenting experts now agree that playing in the mud is the best way to build a child’s immunity. But it’s also a great way to build a joyful and memorable childhood.

~ Phoebe DeCook

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