Saturday 18 June 2022

'Yellow Daffodils in Mud' by Kaitlin Dawn Thomson

Every day I bathe in mud, lathering the slippery earth onto my arms. When the daffodils bloom, I immerse myself twice a day. I got the idea from my chocolate lab, Sparky. He’d dig until there was a great chasm in the once lush grass. He wagged his tail and barked until I came to see what he’d found. Once, he’d littered the ground with yellow daffodils because he trodded through my garden. It was the day after my dad passed away.

Now when the daffodils bloom, I miss Dad and Sparky. I dump the next bucket of mud over my head. It’s so fresh it’s practically steaming as I sit beside the cow trough.

He’s lost his mind, the neighbors might think as their cars crawl by. The rubberneckers.

I wave, laughing. They don’t know how good I have it.

Sparky has been gone a year.  I miss how the feller smiled when he was a pup. I treasured the scent when he rolled in the sand on a summer day because his fur smelled like the sun.

While my father was on hospice, he’d groan in pain, and Sparky ran to comfort him.  In his final days, Sparky brought my dad such peace. The kind only a faithful friend can.

When my dad died, I buried him, of course. A year later, when Sparky died, I buried him beside my father. It was then I decided I wanted to be more like Sparky, digging in the dirt, not searching for treasures, but searching for joy. Tail wagging.

The mud is what connects me to them now. It’s my special place.

If you’re my neighbor and drive by, don’t worry about me. I’m happy as can be in the mud. It’s when I’m clean you should worry.

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