We are on the brink of mud season. For the past couple of weeks the temperature has vacillated from very cold to unseasonably warm. Each storm has brought rain instead of snow, so the ground is bare. Traveling unpaved roads has been iffy for most of the winter. Now we approach weeks of mire, when the frost leaves the upper few inches of ground, and many roads approach impassable.
The mild winter has been tough on the tourism industry and winter sports enthusiasts. At the same time, it has been kind to our wallets, as heating bills are the lowest in memory, and to the ticks who have flourished in the mild weather. It will be a tick challenged summer, following two cold winters that helped to keep tick populations, and therefore disease, in check.
Here in Vermont, mud season lasts a few long weeks, then vanishes into spring warmth and newly graded dirt roads. In the interim, folks tend to help one another through the mire. Farmers trade snow plows for winches, and everyone pushes, laughing and cursing as they quickly become mud covered. Helping one’s neighbors and community comes first, and aid is, usually, generously extended to the hapless traveler.
In politics, it is also mud season, and the season threatens to last into November, and probably beyond. There’s not much kindness, and even less thought to the long-term consequences of all that bad behavior. Listening to the rhetoric, one may easily decide we are only to seek the well-being of those who agree with us. Seems like a crazy way to live.