What is it about bodies of water that attracts us so? Whether it be ocean, lake, or pond there are few of us that are not moved by water. For those of us fortunate enough to live on or near a body of water it is easy to take the effect for granted. It is, after all, always there. If we are too busy and preoccupied today we can always more fully appreciate it tomorrow, or next week, or next month. That is the price of familiarity. Luckily, however, water has a way of pulling us back regardless of our careless attitudes. The serenity of water. Where does it come from?
Serenity of Water – A Deeply Embedded Attraction
Humankind has always had a profound relationship with bodies of water. It is an attraction that goes well beyond the rational fact that oceans, seas, and large lakes have provided thoroughfares for our travel and commerce. It goes deeper than the fact that water is the natural habitat for so many sources of our sustenance. There is something innately mystical about our attraction to water.
Water attracts us like no other magnet. We flock to it in droves for fun, relaxation, and reflection. The calming effect of being near water is well documented but not well understood. We seldom walk away from water more anxious than when we approached it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that our bodies are composed of ~ 70% water. Maybe it is in our DNA—a residual imprint from our primordial beginnings. For most of us our love of water is not learned—it is instinctive. As children, what excited us more than the anticipation of spending a day at the lake? As adults, few things create more anticipation than a planned vacation that is centered around water.
Preserving that Source of Serenity
My generation—the Baby Boomers—will leave behind a dubious legacy when it comes to environmental issues. We have “talked the talk” but not “walked the walk”. Our youthful claims of advanced environmental consciousness turned out to be mostly moldy canards. While we have made limited contributions to the preservation of our most important—and fragile—natural resources our balance sheet is shifted heavily towards the negative. We have consumed far in excess of what we have given back. Few things in nature will be as pristine when we depart as they were when we were born. Our largest bodies of water will be no exception.
Let’s hope that future generations will do better than we have. Let’s hope that our most precious of natural resources will continue to be a viable source of peace and well-being for generations to come. What a profound loss it will be if that turns out not to be the case.