Move over Prada and Hello Blundstone…it is Mud Season!


I felt like I got away with something this morning and it felt so good. So many daily Covid-19 hesitations and cautions over the past year have left me worrying about how to try to stay alive instead of actually living. Feeling willfully free this morning was exhilarating. Defiant in a most innocent way.

Mud season has arrived in Vermont. Locals are unflinchingly experienced in navigating this time of year. Our 5th season. Nonplused by newcomers’ complaints of being inconvenienced by nature’s indifference to their wants for ease of travel. I imagine the “long view” pandemic real estate purchases are looking much different this March than they did during last foliage season. Remote living in early spring takes some patience. Acceptance that nature still holds the cards is key. What seems to be merely a nuisance can turn quite perilous as the snow from the mountains melts and the rivers rise. A neighbor’s home just a few years back had water rushing through it without hesitation rendering it uninhabitable. Nature can be powerful and unrelenting.

Frost on the car as I checked the conditions outdoors for my run this morning. The Worm Moon still visible through the trees at the top of the hill across the street. Temps were cold but the early morning sun showed promise. I would run until the pavement meets the dirt. Just a half mile into my effort. Knowing that yesterday’s road conditions were challenging I vowed to assess the dirt road when I reached it. A hard frost was a positive sign that the road would be passable on foot. Adventure is relative during a pandemic. The road rugged with tumbled rock, deep ruts and waves of frozen mud. I knew that in a matter of hours the warmth of the sun and the rising temperature of the Earth would render this road treacherous and nearly impassable once again. But the moment was mine and on I went. The Earth solid underfoot while employing my trail running skills. Moving laterally to keep moving forward. I focused on the most advantageous spots for each footfall. Childlike and free. A red jeep turned onto the road bucking and dancing until the driver located accessible tire grooves in the road. She smiled broadly at me. I understood her delight. We both had conquered the road this early morning… 

As I turned to make my way back home, I paused. The beauty of Vermont and the most hopeful season were before me…

“Transformation is not accomplished by tentative wading at the edge”  Robin Wall Kimmerer

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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