It was only weeks ago that my hot yoga teacher referred to the time between the end of January and the late middle of April as a “muddy time”.
Often during this season of mud we find the animals struggling to make the transition between hibernation and actual daily exploration; the struggle of the flowers bursting through the ground that had been frozen for so many months; the blocks of snow melting and mixing with the brown grass and dry dirt creating mud pockets in our front and backyards.
We find this muddy time in our children and ourselves, the struggle with the time change, the full moon and that feeling of wanting the gray skies to just disappear over our homes and bring the warm sun of late spring and summer. Muddy times with March coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb come April. Muddy times of renewal and hope that the muck will wash away. Now here we are with some really muddy times. Quarantined to our homes and away from what feels normal. A virus that seems to be picking up the mudd of the season and throwing it in our faces so we can do nothing but face it.
A couple of weeks ago the “muddy time” reference held a different meaning for me. I always feel out of sorts during this time of gray and muck, always struggling to find routine in the mud and also a sleeping routine in the change of time. Berating myself for that struggle when so many seem to have been embracing it with ease. But now with all this epidemic stuff gone wild, the more I think about muddy times the more I see the sun, warmth and growth that comes afterwards.
It was muddy spring season when my parents divorced and my grandmother passed my senior year of college.
It was the muddy times when Erik and I found out that I couldn’t have children naturally.
It was the middle of February mud when our son, not even two yet, was diagnosed with amblyopia causing his eyes to turn out and as a result go under a trying eye surgery. It was during that same diagnosis that I found out that our infertility cycle wasn’t successful.
It was spring when we found out that we had 2 weeks to find a home and move with 3 kids under the age of 3.
It was March 11th when we moved back from Texas to Illinois leaving all we knew behind and starting all over again.
It was late muddy January when our 3 year old son had an epileptic seizure leading to a diagnosis of epilepsy that left a future of uncertainty.
It was only a year ago that our newly renovated basement was flooded and human waste shot out of the drains of our new bathroom as all I could do was watch and cry.
And now here we are again in muddy times as a society.
But what matters most about those times that fill my memory with the stench of their muck is that there was so much light, so much warmth, so much love and growth after the mud washed away.
Erik and I moved in together shortly after the divorce and passing of my grandma, starting a life together that would be forever. It was the spring season after the mud had been washed away that Erik proposed.
After the muddy times of infertility we were blessed with our first born on April 27th 2010 with the sun shining and the warmth of the sun glowing with promise.
That same first born was under the care of amazing doctors and came home from his eye surgery 100% healed. Then two months later he turned 2 and also became a big brother times two as we came to find out we were pregnant with twins.
The spring after that two week period of moving found Erik and I in a rhythm of parenting and marriage that only showed us how much of a perfect match we were and are.
After moving back to Illinois I came to find one my best friends in June of that year. A photographer who captured my heart and understood my mud and we still continue to wash one another’s mud away today.
It was the spring after my son’s seizure that I ran my first 5K followed by my first half marathon that fired a love of running that came to slowly heal my low body image and disordered eating of 20 years. It was in spring two years later after that seizure that we found out our youngest son was completely cleared of his earlier diagnosis and was taken off meds.
It was the muddy times of spring that one of my closest friends and I decided to start bringing our two families together to bask in the sun of summer during duel family vacations filling a July days with laughter and memories.
And a year ago as I waded through water in my basement, it was my close group of friends and my loving family that helped us wipe up the muck of the mud and come out into the sun at the end of it all, showing us who cared.
So this too shall pass. This muddy time will wash away. The sun will come out. Our connections will be strengthened. We will grow and we will flourish. The mud maybe shit coming out of your drain at first glance, but in the end it’s only the foundation of better times to come.