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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Go Play in the Mud

The secret of happiness in two words: mud pies.

I don't mean the fancy dessert. I mean real mud.

Don't you remember being two or three years old, and being "happy as a pig in..." You guessed it.

The best excuse for playing in the mud at a certain age is gardening.

But it's really all about the mud.

Are you too fastidious for mud? How about sand? The sandbox was a great place. And psychologists even set up sand tables for "play therapy."

Speaking of psychology: The great Carl Jung was into rocks. In his mid-to-late 30s, he began playing outside again, building a small town out of stones:

I went on with my building game after the noon meal every day, whenever the weather permitted. As soon as I was through eating, I began playing, and continued to do so until the patients arrived; and if I was finished with my work early enough in the evening, I went back to building.

And if anyone knows what happiness is, it's gotta be Jung.

So get down on your knees. Put your hands in the soil. Look at the ground close-up. Touch it. Let it squish through your fingers. And initiate your own creation, shaping the earth into whatever you want.

You'll be happier.

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