Monday, July 18, 2011

Dirt and Prozac

From the genius brain of my colleague and friend:

On this day in 4 billion BC (give or take 100 million years or so), dirt was created. Dirt takes a while to accumulate enough for it to support life, so it wasn’t like “boom” there you have it, a freshly sodded lawn. The microbes responsible for the creation and care of dirt are very smart and efficient, but very tiny, so it took them a while. Did you know that the microbes in dirt could also help people suffering from depression? Evidently dirt microbes in your body cause more activity in serotonin-producing neurons and higher levels of serotonin in several areas of the brain. The microbes have the exact same effect as antidepressant drugs such as Prozac or Zoloft. OK, this could explain why I have had some bouts of depression over the years. I am compulsive about my desire to not touch dirt or go outdoors off of a sidewalk if there is any way I can possibly avoid it. I guess I’ll just have to go roll in the dirt the next time I’m feeling blue.

While we’re on the subject of dirt, there are some really fascinating creation myths that involve dirt, including this Yoruban creation story. The Yoruba people are an ethnic group in Western Africa. According to Yoruba mythology, the first Yoruba kings were the offspring of the creator, Oduduwa (oh-doo-DOO-wah). A Yoruba king's crown identifies the status of its wearer and gives the king the power to interact with the spirit world in order to benefit his people. A veil, a large face, and a group of birds are commonly appear on a Yoruba king's crown.
Long, long ago, Olorun (OH-low-run), the sky god, lowered a great chain from the heavens to the ancient waters. Down this chain climbed Oduduwa, Olorun's son. Oduduwa brought with him a handful of dirt, a special five-toed chicken, and a palm nut. He threw the dirt upon the ancient waters and set the chicken on the dirt. The chicken busily scratched and scattered the dirt until it formed the first dry earth. In the center of this new world, Oduduwa created the magnificent Ife (EE-fay) kingdom. He planted the palm nut, which grew into a proud tree with 16 branches, symbolizing the 16 sons and grandsons of Oduduwa.

Thought for the day: Anyone who says having a child was the best moment of their life has obviously never had two Kit-Kat bars fall out of a vending machine at once.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOL!!! TWO Kit Kat bars would be heaven.