They say that Maine has five seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter, and mud. Mud season is a real thing here in Maine. It's when the snow and ice melt into a sloppy, slushy pothole kind of mess. As a little girl I would have adored tromping through this season in my bright red rubber boots. But today I long for pretty shoes and dry ground. I am remembering back to an early spring day when I was around seven years old and the smell of the earth was coming to life and it was as if the mud was beckoning me to come and play. Without a care in the world I trudged straight into the biggest patch of soupy earth that acted like quick sand. With a tenacious grip that black earth grabbed ahold of me and wouldn't let me go. My only route of escape was to step out of my boots and walk home in my white stocking feet. I chuckle about it now, but at the time I thought my beloved boots would be entombed in that muddy soil forever. But eventually the ground gave way and my Dad was able to pull my little boots out to safety. Lately I have once again found myself stuck in some deep murky places. I have to gently remind myself that the mud will eventually loosen it's grip. Often as we sit in the middle of an experience it becomes hard for us to believe that a new season sits out on the horizon. The forecast this week is for freezing temps and cold rain. I see that the emergence will be slow, but the momentum is moving forward. Often the really great stuff of life is found within these messy moments, these tough seasons. For it is out of this primitive place that the greatest beauty grows.I took two images this week that really spoke to me, they include the elements of water and fire. I am always amazed at how spellbound I become when I stare out at the water or look deeply into roaring flames. I am simply mesmerized. During this years "Mud Season," I have learned that we aren't ever really stuck. Life never holds still, even when we don't feel anything at all, we are constantly growing in the most unexpected of ways. What held us down will soon set us free.