When I was a little kid, we had a patch of mud in our back yard. My best friend, Olivia, and I made mud pies there. (Have you ever made them? They’re delicious.)

When I’ve visited villages in India, I’ve watched kids play cricket endlessly in the dirt, sometimes with the village’s one cricket bat and a homemade ball.

When I finish posting today’s essay, I’m going to set up for this afternoon’s Grandkid Olympics. The priciest equipment purchase was a $3 frisbee.

I think the pandemic has forced our hand to slow down and simplify. Were we on the road to losing mud pies and homemade (or inexpensive) sports equipment forever? Were we on the verge of losing our creativity because we’re blinded by so much stuff?

I just read that businesses are scaling back their array of products. I mean, how many kinds of potato chips do we really need?

Back in March, I started getting a little nervous. I was going to miss my busy life. But then May rolled around. Planting season! I started playing in the dirt and realized I didn’t need to go places and buy things and do things and expect others to entertain me so much.

There’s freedom in simplicity.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear the grandkids calling. Olympics await! And hmm, I wonder if they’ve ever made mud pies…

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