At 10,400 ft with an average snowfall of 14 feet per season, spring in the mountains of Colorado can look more like a brown and white mess than your normal green-fields-bursting-with-lush-green-grass-sunshine-and-tulips.
Here, we call Spring, Mud Season, and rightly so. The feet of snow gives way to rushing brown rivets of water, jeans heavy and wet with melted snow, slush, boots caked with thick mud, more slush, cars and trucks all various shades of brown, mud-splattered-happy dogs, muddy floors, and the snow-covered trails that soften during the day so that you sink to your knees, freeze to a bob-sled luge over night. And did I mention, slush?
In two words (plus an equal sign): Spring=treacherous.
Then I think of summer. Of June, July, and August. When Colorado, in my opinion, is its prettiest. Wildflowers scatter themselves all over mountain peaks and valleys in purples, blues, reds, pinks, yellows, and oranges. Rivers rush and burble, aspen leaves flicker and wave, pine needles crunch under foot, lichen grows on rocks, the sun is warm, the shade is cool, and the sky is so blue if you looked hard enough you could practically see stars.
In two words (plus an equal sign): Summer=beauty.
Yet, you can’t have one without the other. Without the muddy mess of spring there would be no summer beauty.
That is the way of all things.
There is no happy ending without a rough and messy middle.
There is no hard-won intimacy without some down-and-dirty hurting.
No hello without there being a goodbye first.
No morning glory without the deepest black of night.
No book-on-the-shelf feeling without a lot of revising, and rejecting, and cutting, and slashing, and crying.
It is the beautiful things that come from dust and mud and rain and clouds and slush.
So during those times…those messy, muddy spring days when you think that June flowers may never come, slip on those boots, roll up those jeans, and realize that as surely as there will be spring next year at this time, the summer, too, comes. Not necessarily when we wish it would…but it comes nonetheless.
Might as well try and dance in the rain, slosh in the slush, and make some mud pies.