I believe in getting filthy dirty. The kind of dirty that leaves you outside the house getting hosed off by your mom before you can even think about stepping inside; and the dirtier you are, then the better the day.
One day after working with the show cattle and then the show hogs I was filthy and all of the attempts of using the garden hose to pass the inspection to enter in the house didn’t remove the stench. On those hot summer days when anytime of day is unbearable, life teaches you something. When I was at my wits’ end because one heifer stepped on my foot and another head butted me into the gate, I was in no mood for what laid ahead with aggravating swine. What can make a hot humid Indiana day worse is having stubborn pigs trample you and push you around; and I was on the brink of tears. By the time I was ready to actually work with my own show pigs, the rain quickly came across the sky in a beautiful thunderstorm, pouring relentlessly for about twenty minutes. I thought, “Oh great, my day is shot!” But then I realized it wasn’t. There we were, a bunch of kids in the barn looking out at the pigs enjoying the welcomed rain and new mud holes. About that time the rain stopped and we went out of the barn to walk the pigs and enjoyed the mud by throwing some handfuls at each other which then lead to throwing each other into the biggest mud puddle I have ever seen in my life! And, when referring to the farm, I call everything mud even though there may be some other ingredients mixed in.
That day was by far the messiest I have had in my entire life, even compared to the county fair mud wrestling for fun. But it did teach me something. Something as simple as a rainstorm and dirt can bring out some qualities of people making some of the most treasured memories of my life. By letting loose and getting dirty, that day showed me to not pass up an opportunity to jump in and make memories. Since that day, I look for the mud puddles in life and make memories come to life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.