The sun is shining, the rivers are swollen with run off from the snowpack and April 22 marks the 44th annual Earth Day. It’s a day we celebrate and clean the Earth. Volunteer projects are organized and beautification events are held.
There was this one time…at UMaine…Earth Day was synonymous with Maine Day in my head, it was a day off from classes and we were asked to do projects around campus, but at 11 a.m. the best place to be was at the oozeball court down by the Stillwater River.
For anyone who has been to Orono, it is tradition to play volleyball in two feet of cold, gooey mud. Wear old sneakers. Don’t bother to wear white, thinking you can bleach it later, and don’t expect to get out of the game mud free, it’s not gonna happen. (I tried.)
One trip on a root is all it takes to wind up face first in the mud. I’m not sure what oozeball had to do with Earth Day, other than we were playing in the earth, then the river to rinse off. But, when you’re in college and the school says do some work and then go play in the mud, you listen.
Teamwork, pride in the community you reside in, it all comes together at the end of April. Be it Maine Day or Earth Day, the time to get out and make a difference will be upon us.
Knowing that my daughter will miss out on the oozeball tradition has me wiping away a tear, but I’m sure UMPI has some of their own traditions.
There is a picture of me standing in the mud at my first oozeball game and if I can find it I will post it on Facebook and then on the www.TheWindhamEagle.com website under columnists where I post all of my insight columns. Until then, here’s a picture of what I’ve been talking about.