Footprints and Mud

Jenna - Manhattan, Montana
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

When I was little I hated the snow! Everything about it. The cold, wetness and how it got in between my glove and my coat to prey on the vulnerable skin of my wrists. The only thing that was bearable about the snow was when I would wake up and there was a fresh blanket laid over my lawn and the trees surrounding it. The snow covered up all the ugliness of the in between season. I loved the perfection of it and the certainty that it was winter. Now that I am older and have a larger understanding of life in general, I recognize that the snow cannot remain perfect and certain forever. Before long, there will be footprints in the snow and mud will be dragged into it. Like the snow, life cannot remain perfect and certain.

I believe in the footprints and mud of life. There are always mistakes to be made, arguments to be had, and questions to be answered, but I believe those are what make life. The problems of life are what make me who I am. Similar to the footprint scarred snow, life also leaves me with imperfections and the uncertainty of what lies beneath. Those scars can be melted by the sun, they won’t affect us forever and the unknown will be known soon enough.

The more footprints and mud in my life the stronger I become. With every cut and bruise my skin heals thicker, armor to the elements. With every broken heart and un-mended friendship I get smarter towards the disappointments of life. No matter how deep the footprint or the amount of mud, I know that eventually the sun will come out and fade my scars until they are no longer visible. The memories of the events that scarred me will fade away until they are nothing more than an uncomfortable memory that only I think of.

The uncertainty of what is under the unmarred snow is an unopened gift. Whether or not I want the gift is a whole other question. Under the snow could be a dog turd or one of the last remaining blades of green grass. What is important is for me not to be afraid to uncover the unknown, for beneath the blanket of snow lies a lesson to be learned, whether good or bad.

Instead of wishing for the snow to remain perfect, I now cannot wait for the first footprint and the lesson that is to be uncovered beneath it. Life cannot stay a fresh blanket of snow if it does I am not truly living.