What is it about water that draws us to it? Obviously, there is our biological need, but I'm thinking beyond thirst and cellular replenishment. I've heard that fire and flowing water are mesmerizing to humans like few other phenomena. Think of how one stares into the dancing red and orange of a campfire or in a fireplace on a cold evening in midwinter. Remember the breathy sound of surf, the constant roar of a whitewater river, or even the arrhythmic patter of rainfall on a roof. Then there's the sight of water: foamy, white highlights on a blustery day, tranquil hues of blue, coffee rivers, black ponds. Ripples, waves, riffles, the motion of water, its (usually) fresh odor, and the variety of life it attracts; bodies of water supply a nearly inexhaustible supply of beauty and fascination.
|My daughter at the Gulf of Mexico, Florida|
|Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey, Michigan|
|See, I can't stay out of it. Great Smoky Mountains National Park|
Ice, snow, hail, rain—water in its myriad forms draws our fear, anger, curiosity, and joy. I feel the pull of water every time I am near some natural body of it—swimming pools have never had the same effect on me. Perhaps it is the pool’s sterility or the chlorinated smell—I am compelled if not to jump in and swim in a lake, pond, or stream, then at least to put my hands or sandaled feet in it. In summer’s heat especially, the liquid magnetism draws me ever near—even with a threat of leeches or creeping, clawing crayfish, lurking pike with needle-like teeth, or hiding-in-the-muck snapping turtles.
|Swimming in the Midnight Hole, Big Creek, GSMNP|
|First time in Lake Superior!|
|Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore|
|Exploring a shipwreck at PRNL|
|Pictured Rocks NL|
So why does water pull me so? Who needs to think about it? Come on, the water looks good. I bet I can go under before you can.