Sanchez: Named mud–and be proud

ST. FRANCIS of Assisi calls them, might call it Sister Mud? After all, the saint called Sir Brother Sun as the one who gives us light, Sister Moon and the stars, which the Creator made bright, precious and fair.

Then he welcomes Brothers Wind and Air who are fair and stormy, all weather’s moods. Or Sister Water, so useful, humble, precious and pure.

For creation is a family, according to the patron saint of environmentalists. He called our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, producing varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

He praised the Lord through those who grant pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial.

In English, to be called Mud is to insult someone. In the obsolete sense of the word, “mud” is to describe him as “unpopular” or “a stupid twaddling fellow.”

Mothers often chide their kids playing in the mud. “Dirty,” we often hear from them, implying that mud is bad for the health. Or you sling mud when you want to insult or discredit someone.

Speaking of sickness, perhaps St. Francis might call the sticky mix of sand and water as Sister Mud when you’re looking for a healer.

Recent studies revealed that dirt contains microsopic bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae which increases the levels of seratonin in our brains, helping to relax, soothe and calm. In fact, playing in the dirt - including very wet dirt – is good for a child’s immune system.

A mud bath is a tub of volcanic ash or mineral-infused clay mixed with warm spring water to create a soothing, reparative spa experience. The 100-degree mixture draws toxins out through pores in the skin.

In fact, modern health spas include mud baths for their health benefits. For thousands of years, people worldwide have believed in the healing powers of mud, and natural hot springs were popular such as those in the Mambukal Mountain Resort in Murcia.

One benefit of mud baths is their anti-inflammatory properties – soaking in mud and its minerals can help alleviate aches and muscle pains. Another mud bath advantage is the soothing effect mud and its minerals – including sodium, magnesium and potassium – can have on the skin. Soaking in mud baths can even help relieve the symptoms of many conditions such as psoriasis and rosacea.

Negrenses, however, put a different spin to the soft, sticky matter resulting from the mixing of earth and water.

The Mudpack Festival of Mambukal Murcia, Negros Occidental. It’s a surefire way to mix ecological concerns with good, clean, cloddy fun.

Celebrate the symbolic celebration of humanity’s return to primitive time when we were closer to nature.

Conceptualized by local artists to showcase Mambukal's natural wealth, the Mudpack Festival has morphed into an occasion for educating the youth on environmental conservation. It is held from June 23 to 24, coinciding with the feast of St. John de Baptist and the height of the monsoon season.

(bqsanc@yahoo.com)