Dirt

When was the last time you felt soil in your hands or slept against the cool embrace of Mother Earth? June 29 is International Mud Day, the perfect excuse get back in touch with the ground and get dirty.

As a child you were probably much closer to the earth, literally and figuratively. Running barefoot in the yard, digging in the dirt, making mud pies, rolling in the grass and climbing hills are activities that all children enjoy – and that most adults turn their noses up at. Get dirty this summer to remember your animal nature, to bolster your immune system and to have fun!

1. Try gardening. Whether you have a small apartment or big backyard, find room to grow something. Buy seeds or seedlings and till the soil with your hands, water your babies regularly and bask in the miracle of life.

2. Sign up for a mud run. Obstacle courses through filthy pits of mud are gaining in popularity with both males and females. Amateur athletes compete to see just who can get the filthiest the fastest. Check your local event listings to find a mud running competition near you.

3. Go camping. Return to a primal state and live outdoors for a while to reconnect with nature. You might feel dirty without your daily shower, but spending time around trees, plants and bugs can inspire your soul like nothing else. Sleep outdoors under the stars and remember just how tiny all your problems really are.

4. Visit the dog park. Chances are your dog loves to get as dirty as possible whenever he or she can. Indulge your stinky friend’s filthy desires and head to your local dog park. Wear old shoes and clothes, because you’ll likely get dirty too – and you’ll also get a smile on your face from all the joyous romping action from your canine companions.

5. Take a pottery class. Make a mess learning how to create ceramic vessels out of clay mud. Feel the silky clay ooze between your fingers and revel at your amazing powers of creation.

6. Find a local farm. Summer is the prime season for pick-your-own farm adventures – a must-do experience for kids who think that strawberries come from a package and milk comes from a carton. Find a nearby family farm and spend a day plucking your food from the earth.

7. Jump in mud puddles. Forget the laundry, forget the stains and forget that you’re a grown-up now. The next rainy day, go out and play. Find the best puddles you can and make a splash. Go barefoot if you’re brave and let the soft mud squish between your toes.

8. Hit the beach! Lounge in the sun, surf and sand all day and you are bound to become sticky, stinky and satisfied with life. If you are lucky enough to live by the ocean, don’t let the summer pass by without spending at least one glorious day at the beach relaxing. Bonus points if you build a sandcastle or let the kids bury you in the beach!

Image: timsamoff