The Existence of Mud

There I was crouched down by the back door attacking my runners with an old toothbrush and thinking about how life has changed.

Long ago days of running barefoot with a hat hanging down my back pretending to be Laura from Little House of the Prairie.  Of knees with scabs on scabs and dot the dot bruises and dusty brown ankles.  When trees were for climbing and naming, not admiring and instagramming.

In summer I would wander the fields behind the house sucking the scratches on my fingers, my dress torn and licheny green.  There were paths everywhere and I explored them with the intensity of an addict.  Where did they go?   What secrets would they reveal?  Just one more corner might tell.  I swam in the river, waded through the long grass or perched silently on a branch, binoculars at the ready.  Down by the riverbank I would say hello to the fisherman disturbing the dragonfly quiet as I grew dizzy from heat and dehydration.

In my mind I still expect all walks to be like those sunbleached memories of summers in the Seventies.

But this week's walk was never going to be like that.  It was the first day of the school term and time for another brief escape with a friend.  After two weeks of stale confinement my lungs were desperate for fresh air and my legs needed to feel used.  I remembered my new rucksack, but forgot about the weather.   The good old Irish weather.  And so it was that I found myself dancing around the puddles and skirting the sodden grass.  But it was not enough.  I'd forgotten about the existence of mud, and my lovely pristine trainers came home caked in brown frosting.

Thank goodness for old tooth brushes.

For L.


  1. Lovely evocative piece of writing <3

  2. Very sweet way to spend the day. I bet the mud was worth it

  3. Susan (Eastendmom)January 8, 2015 at 2:40 AM

    How lovely! I, too miss those carefree young days when we'd spend the entire day outdoors exploring and playing - no electronic distractions in those days!

  4. Yes, lovely writing.
    Are you sure you went raised in that Little House on the Prairie ?!! xx

    1. Well I guess our field (otherwise known as a garden) did look like a prairie at time! xx

  5. Oh wow, this is a beautifully written post, you should send it in to Radio 1. Loved it.

  6. Such a lovely post to read. Almost makes me want to start running. Almost! :-)