“Bang! Bang! Bang Bang!”
My whole body shudders, as my tires skittered across the washboard potholes. I hang onto for dear life until I clear them. You can always see them coming, lined up in lone even rows down the road. Many try to avoid them. Yet many others sigh in resignation, seconds later the car colliding with the deep rows. Unfortunately you cannot miss them all.
I had decided to turn off the main road. I have never been a fan of manicured pristine streets. I prefer the broken beat up pavement of forgotten byways. After a quick decision and a sharp left, I found myself passing an orange sign. Every Spring, right around March DPW crews around New England are tasked with putting these signs up. They warn motorist of the muddy mess up ahead. They are glued to plywood and nailed to trees, or connected to sign posts and driven into the soft earth. Its never quite Spring until every dirt road bears a bright sign that declares:
LOAD LIMIT 6 TONS.
Each Spring the roads begin to thaw, and locals know that traveling down them becomes treacherous. You have to slow down, or risk being thrown into the woods. Mud is a tricky substance, its can be sticky, yet slick as ice. Even as I make my way down, I felt my car being pulled this way and that. You can get stuck in it, or be thrown off course. Mud should always be approached with caution. It can be just as treacherous as snow or ice, even if some people underestimate it.
Mud is pervasive and it is such a dominate feature of Spring. It has a pesky was of getting into everything. It sticks to boots, and clings onto dogs paws. It is dragged into mud rooms and onto clean floors. It drives Mothers mad with its constant presence. People who have moved here from the city rail against how it is a scourge of society. They get together, yell and stamp their feet, all calling for the Mud to be stopped.
The old timers just sit back in laugh. They have seen it all before. The slow changes that have come over this place. Many folks have come and gone. But not the mud. It is like the mountains in the background, or the first warm night when they peepers begin to sing. Mud is part of us, and It will always be part of this place.