Mud

Tanya Ward Goodman

By Tanya Ward Goodman


There are three kids wallowing in a self-made mud pit in my back yard.

“We are getting really, really dirty,” they say.

They rub mud into their shorts and t-shirts. Their hands and faces are brown and soggy, their hair matted.

“We are pigs,” they say, gleefully.

They snort.

I turn the hose off and take a few photos from a safe distance. I start to say, “Don’t…” and then I stop.

The mud pit is far enough from the house to give me a running start on clean up. They are having a really, really good time. I head back inside and listen to them laugh.

My house is very tidy. Perhaps it is this fact that allows me to be so cavalier about the havoc in the back yard. For me, there has to be one place where things feel somewhat under control so that in other areas, I can loosen up. Today, my bed is made, the rug in the dining room still bears the tracks of the vacuum, and the mudslide doesn’t freak me out at all.

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