e.e. cummings famously quipped, “The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful!” The joyful faces in these photos from just a few of the International Mud Day celebrations around the world prove his point. NACC’s Universal Principles for Connecting Children with Nature include providing time for children to explore freely in nature-based settings, and what could be more freeing than exploring the very stuff of which our earth is made? That sense of joy even gets a neurological boost from a mud-residing bacteria called Mycobacterium Vaccae which releases serotonin in our brains, a neurotransmitter that soothes, calms, and helps us to relax. Whether it oozes right out of the mud, or comes from letting go and getting dirty, mud is magic.