In the 90s I was a kindergarten assistant to an absolutely fabulous teacher – Marilyn – a grandmother and most adventurous spirit. She initiated the Center School Trail to take her classes on hikes.

This past Sunday I took my 3-year-old grandniece to the largely abandoned Center School playground – as Center School’s been replaced by the bigger modern Marathon School. Though Marilyn’s Center School Trail has long since grown over, there is now another path leading over the hill into the woods. After a picnic lunch Millie and I took a hike.

We made it to the first stream crossing where Millie immediately dove her hands into the ‘coooooold’ water. She tromped on, so we hiked to the next stream crossing, maybe 200 yards up. Mud. No discernable flow of water – but lots of mud. Millie immediately dove her hands into the mud, squishing it prodigiously through her fingers. Then she told me to – and I did – because that’s what you do with Millie.

Then Marilyn’s favorite song came rollicking to mind: Mud, mud, I love mud. I’m absolutely, positively wild about mud. I can’t go around it. I’ve got to go through it. Beautiful, fabulous, super duper mud: