A few years ago I wrote a song for the Missoula Coyote Choir called, "I Like to Jump in the Puddles." We had a good time with it, especially the part where we got to raise our hands in the air and yell/sing “P-U-D-D-L-E-S! I LIKE TO JUMP IN THE PUDDLES!”
It felt like an anthem for a mini-rebellion.
But what were we rebelling against? And why did it feel so good?
Cleanliness, maybe. Order. Doing what’s expected of us, what’s logical, what makes the most sense.
Staying on the dry side of the street is clearly the more rational choice. And maybe that’s why it feel so awesome to take a running, flying plunge into the puddles. “Take that, logic! Watch this, order! Watch me make a big ol’ beautiful mess!”
And not only make a mess. Join the mess. Be the mess.
We all have parts of ourselves, inside, that are neat and tidy – or at least want to appear that way. And we also have parts that are muddy, mucky, surprising and out of control. We spend so much of our time in that first state; sanding down our edges, tamping down the chaos, buttoning up the beast. There are good reasons for this. But it can go too far, and often does. If we completely shut down our inner puddle-jumper, we end up quashing our creativity, sexual energy, emotional sensitivity and empathy. If we can’t find habitats for our inner wildness, it goes extinct. And that’s pretty tragic.
So maybe that’s what a puddle is. A habitat. A tiny little wilderness that beckons to the untamed parts ourselves. “Hey YOU!” it says. “I see you! You’re a weird, messy, muddy little thing, just like me. Come on over! Jump in!”