I kid thee not.
Garden Rant has posted a story about how the Mycobacterium vaccae bacteria which is found in gardening soil (i.e. "dirt") has been scientifically linked to the report of a greater feeling of happiness by means of an increase in the "quality of life."
The scientific explanation appears to involve seratonin, neurons, and the brain's "mood center."
The actual subjects interviewed were mice and cancer patients.
There you have it! My excuse for potting and puttering on the dining room table, now that there's snow on the ground. For today, the transplant of 3 individually pre-potted Hippeastrum amaryllis (on sale at the Giant, twofer something. . . .) into a big glass centrepiece-type bowl, hopefully in time to bloom by Christmas, but knowing my luck, to bloom sometime after the new year, when I am out of town.
But who cares? It's the dirt that counts.
But here's what I'll probably miss, and that would do a lot for my mental state, as well.
I don't care what they say. I like the flowers best.
Still - nice to know there a benefit to the mess!