Mud here means three extra steps for every task and chore, when normally there is one. There are pairs of shoes parked around the porch, in the back of cars, and outside of gates. Each pair is worn at different intervals for a particular chore and each pair is shed before participating in civilized activities like entering vehicles or structures. For example, a trip to work means changing to porch shoes for the walk to the car, changing porch shoes to car/work shoes to avoid getting mud in the car, changing car/work shoes for gate shoes in order to exit car and open gate, changing to car/work shoes again for the drive through the gate, then gate shoes again to close the gate and then - finally - car/work shoes for the blessed exit from the property. Please understand we're not that anal about cleanliness. If you know me up close and personal, then you can vouch for this truth. In fact, I rarely abide by the whole gate shoe to car shoe change unless the mud has reached critical levels of, you know, muddiness. That's about where we are now. Fully saturated.
I spend literally hours in the goat yard each day which means I've made a thoughtful and careful decision not to give a crap about the mud. Because, you see, one cannot both herd goats in the rain and also remain clean. It's a scientific impossibility. Actually, the truth is, one cannot both live on land with animals and also remain clean - in any weather. Which makes it ridiculous that I actually scrubbed floors and wiped baseboards this weekend, knowing that rain was coming, and knowing that all would be encrusted in dirt again, a mere day or two after the cleaning.But in this world you feign order and cleanliness, realize it will all go to hell and disorder momentarily, then pour a glass of wine and watch things unravel. Right now I'm stretched out on the couch with a muddy paw print on the top of each foot. Having five dogs, it's unclear who's the culprit, and does it make a difference anyway?
The paw print, the bruises, the pains in our back, the mud I just cleaned from my glasses, they're the badges we wear that show where we come from. If you're out in the world and spot a person with a hoof print on their bottom, chewed down fingernails, and cuts along their arms - don't pity them. Chances are good they're wearing their own badges as proudly as we do.