In our Northeast Ohio, there are four official seasons; each has a name and each holds something to admire.
But Bob and I have lived here all our lives, and we have learned that there are unnamed seasons too, between the seasons and inside the seasons.
One of them is starting now, and we have named it "The Season of the Mud".
Its span is unpredictable; it does not respect the calendar. It may rear its gloomy head in the last few days of winter; or in the early spring; and its sloppy presence sometimes lingers with us until the end of April, and sometimes into May.
It's inhospitable to human work or play; a dull, damp time that's spare of inspiration, and often chilling to the bones.
Its a splat-splat time of melted snow and puddles where we don't expect to find them; and our lawns lie sparse and dormant, reluctant to recover from the months beneath the smothering snow.
It's a time when, with a sucking sound, our feet fight valiantly to keep from sinking into softened soil; and the paths into our woodlands become temporary bogs, unseen and treacherous beneath the layers of aged autumn leaves.
Bob and I do love the four official seasons here. But in this, The Season of the Mud, we are often sorely tempted to turn our wheels southward into Springtime...
And to return when Mother Nature has decided to dry up.