Let's Get Muddy
Updated: Aug 11, 2021
Elements in Balance: Earth, Air, Fire, Water
I recently heard a discussion of spirituality that reminded me of my visit to the small island nation of St. Lucia. My trip was by cruise to the port in Castries and occurred just after the devastating impact of Hurricane Tomas to the Southern Caribbean in 2011. The hurricane battered many parts of the Southern Caribbean, producing severe and widespread damage. High winds toppled trees and power lines. The heavy rains generated mud slides and landslides that flooded or swept away numerous homes, some commercial buildings, roads, and bridges. The weather in the Caribbean can go from a paradise lost to a hell found in a matter of hours.
Our land excursions were cancelled and we were advised to stay near port in Castries. However, with a couple of brave travel companions, a local driver was hired to transport us to Soufriere for the day. We looked forward to visiting the Soufriere volcano, renowned for its black water pool baths, and to experiencing the beauty of Diamond Waterfalls. Many travel to Soufriere to walk in the volcano, Others travel from great distances with hopes of receiving healing or some relief from the medicinal properties found in the minerals released from within the volcano.
Downstream from the caldera of the Soufriere Volcano, mineral-rich properties mix with water to form a black muck. This muck is reported to have medicinal benefits for arthritis, eczema and other physical ailments. After applying the mineral-rich volcanic mud to the body, people enter the bathing pool for a long, therapeutic soak to remove toxins and other impurities from the body. The bathing pool has a temperature of roughly 88.3° Fahrenheit.
The island country of St Lucia is certainly captivating. I initially traveled to St. Lucia because I wanted to experience its rich fauna and flora, to witness the beauty of its coastline, to ponder the mystique of the island country, and to experience the wonder of the dramatic twin peaks —Gros Piton and Petit Piton. I was expecting, again, inspiration. Instead, I received much more. I was awakened to a different, more inviting and inclusive perspective. My trip to Soufriere Volcano, although prohibited, was well worth traveling washed away roads and breathing in the fragrance of its flora. The volcano itself produced a form of liquid life erupting from within our planet, a form of rich lava that leaves in its wake rich minerals for all to benefit. Its fundamental composition is no different than the complexity of our bodies. I saw the elements of earth, air, fire, water and space in a different reality that caused me to realize that, as humans, we are so impressed with what is or should be happening outside of us, we often loose site of what is happening within us, and what we leave behind.