sparkling goo

What kind of creature leaves behind such a beautiful trail? My kids and I all squeal when we walk outside after a good rain. The thought of one miss-step leading to a crackly scrunch followed by slippery ooze underfoot is enough to turn my karate-chopping boys into prissy little girls as they make their way down the path that heads away from our porch.

Seriously, snails are not the most enchanting creatures. They are slimy and – dare I say – gross. And now that the weeds are mostly gone (at least for the time being), they cover my walkway after the slightest bit of moisture released from the clouds.

Yes, they have cool shells. And yes, they make their way through this world on one foot, which is quite impressive. And yes, I DID graduate from the college with a slug for a mascot (UC Santa Cruz banana slugs…..the ecological mascot……whoot-whoot!). But no, I am not a fan of this family of creatures as I play frogger down my path to avoid killing them and leaving their disgusting goop on my shoe.

However, I must admit they leave awfully pretty art for me to appreciate after they are gone. And, quite frankly, the more they leave behind the better. Shiny, delicate, light-catching patterns mask the aging and barely-there paint of my concrete walkway.

How ironic that such a putrid creature can leave behind something so lovely. And I start to think of what I have left behind this week. It’s not nearly as pretty as the snails. And I think myself to be so much better than those snails.

During Spring Break with all my children home and driving each other nuts, the imprint I leave behind at the end of the day is more akin to a snail smooshed by my shoe than glimmering doilies of delight and joy.

But then those beautiful trails catch my eye again and I am reminded. A mucous-propelled creature left those trails. Redemption is alive and well. There is hope that somehow, someway even my ugly days can be refashioned to bring beauty.

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oops…my roots are showing

When I saw these trees I immediately sensed they were showing me something about myself. Sometimes I feel like my roots are exposed. Like others can see parts of me meant for keeping underground.

I do not hide my emotions well. Add to it the fact that I blush easier than an elephant gains weight. And I am one of the fairest people you will ever meet, so my crimson shade has very little pigment to hide behind.

I am not a pretty crier, either. My nose turns into a faucet of snot and my eyes turn red and blotchy and it is about the most hideous thing you have ever seen. And it takes hours for me to look normal. Again, the fair skin does me no favors here.

Sometimes I am okay being so vulnerable. Sometimes it is intentional, like when I am around safe people whose love I can count on. Or when I am being brave and purposefully putting myself out there in my writing or by making a new friend.

And then there are other times when it’s an accident. When my emotions are controlling me for the moment and I am embarrassed and can do nothing else other than live through the experience and somehow make it out the other side.

But then I see these trees with their roots exposed and I think it is one of the most exquisite things I have ever seen in my life. Somehow it is ugly and breathtaking all at once. And I understand, ever so slightly, why we find such beauty in the transparency of one another.

These roots – these things that most of the time stay underground and out of sight – are a beautiful, mysterious mess. Just like me.