Puddling is what butterflies do because they cannot live on nectar alone. Although the nectar is lovely and sweet, they must have the salts and minerals from the earth or they will die. That is why, often during the summer, you will see a few or even a flock of butterflies gathered around a muddy, swampy place. They are drinking the minerals and salts that are brought to the surface of the earth by the water.
Is puddling what we do when we go expose ourselves to the dirt and mess of nature? Working in the garden, camping and eating outdoors, playing in the water outside, all of these involve an element of dirtiness — of less than clean-ness. But our spirits are cleaned and renewed by this closeness to the dirt from which we are made.
If we are suffering from nature deficit disorder, a disorder which causes anxiety, stress, and a lack of purpose in our lives, perhaps we should consider the butterfly. Find a puddle. Play in the mud.
And maybe then we will be able to appreciate the nectar again.
How do you treat nature deficit disorder? Please leave me a comment below. Here’s hoping you find yourself a puddle today.