There’s a phenomenon I have experienced a few times maybe you have, too. When you ride a motorcycle or a bike and sometimes even when driving a car, if you see something in your path ahead and if you stare at it, you inevitably run over it. Seriously. This is known as monkey see, monkey run over.
Although it can’t be explained and it doesn’t happen 100 percent of the time, it seems your eye turns your handlebars or steering wheel toward whatever it’s you see. Dead rabbit? Squish. Piece of a tire? Crunch. A rock? Thump, thump. Even a pot hole. The more you stare, the higher the chances are you’re going to hit it.
This valuable information may very well explain why when, say, a little boy, OK or little girl, is walking along and there’s a puddle within 100 feet that little tyke heads right for it. Then jump in the middle of it and gleefully kick at the water and mud until the puddle is all but dried up. This could be called monkey see, monkey get in trouble.
Just last week we had a wonderful rain storm. Where we live wee can see the storms coming for miles. Beautiful. Then after the storm passes and I venture out, I seem to be called to by this one place in our yard. Water stands just perfectly in this place. The ground is covered with pea-sized gravel and the water that stands there after a storm isn’t muddy. It’s crystal clear, and the rocks look so clean on the bottom of the puddle. So naturally each time a puddle appears there, I walk straight through it. Making slightly muddy footprints that soon clear up making it a great new puddle to walk through on my way back to the house. I just can’t explain why I have to walk through that water. Must be something cosmic.
There’s an art to this puddle walking. Oh, you can’t just run up to a puddle and jump in. If you do you might find there’s more mud than puddle. About now you might be thinking this is just nonsense. But there’s a good reason for all this puddle talk.
I like to pass on things I’ve learned along my puddled path of life. For instance, I have found for the most part the normal thing to do when a puddle is encountered is to try to skidder around the edges. But that’s not the best route to take. See, when it rains there are two things that happen. It gets muddy and puddles form. To get from hither to yon, you see the path and figure to stay out to the muddiest spots so you circumnavigate all puddles. This is wrong. If you see a puddle, walk through it!
It makes sense if you think about it if the water is standing and you can see gravel on the bottom of the puddle, the ground has already soaked up all the water it can take. Now the ground is saturated, and while holding all that water it won’t disperse and send your foot to the bottom of a mud pit. At least that’s the reasoning I tell my other half when he says, “Get out of the water!”
Over many years of scraping mud of all types off of shoes of all types, I have learned this middle of the puddle path is the way to go. Here, I can prove it. If you walk to the edge of a puddle to walk around it you sink in the mud. It looks safe, no standing water, just a darker dirt color. Ah, but that sucking sound you’ll hear will be you pulling at your leg to get your shoe out of the mud.
If you try to go around the puddle by walking on your tiptoes, you not only sink farther, but faster, too. Then you might try to walk faster thinking you can beat the mud. But you end up making mud sling up the back of your legs as you scamper.
But! If you don’t think of the puddle as an adversary and walk right through it without fear of the water, nine times out of 10 you’re going to be rewarded with just wet shoes, not wet and muddy shoes.
There it is. That’s where I’ve been trying to get to. There’s always a way around a problem. Seeing it from another point of view. As I muddle through my little puddle, I don’t hear the scolding of, “Get out of the water,” I hear the cheer of, “Way to stay out of the mud!”
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.