Blue Mind

Jul 20, 2015

When our realtor suggested we look at one last place, I said “No”.

Anyone else despise shopping? Me too. Dan the realtor insisted that we would LOVE this place and my husband said “Yes”. I relented. That was 9 years ago. It was love at first sight. We fell in love with the calming lake and the simple, rustic cabin with a breath-taking view.  The scent of north woods pines, the wildness of a 400 acres of lake were so distinct from our agricultural roots. Oh, and the loons. The siren song of the loons sealed the deal.

Flash forward to a cobalt blue kayak and a gently breezy, gorgeous July morning.  

peace-at-lake.JPGAs I paddle away from the shore with my canine companion, Miss Mopsy on my lap, there’s nothing else but the present. Balancing and moving with the waves, immersed in the flow of the wind and the water and trying to keep a curious, water-loving puppy from falling overboard.  All of the worries of the week disappear. Mental and emotional fog clears, curiosity and wonder are restored. Every time.  My husband says it’s the same for him just being out in the boat. Doesn’t matter if he’s catching fish or not. 

There is something about being in water and swimming which alters my mood, gets my thoughts going, as nothing else can.” -- Excerpt from Oliver Sacks in Blue Mind

When I head home from the cabin, I make it a practice to send heartfelt gratitude to the lake, just as I do with someone I love dearly.  As a high school student and earlier, I dreamt of being a marine biologist. Could that be why time at the lake is unparalleled for me? Transformative even.

Nope. It is not unique to me.

In fact, savvy friend and kindred lakeside getaway aficionado, Ann recently shared a quote and sweet Facebook post with me, stating “The Journal of Environmental Psychology reports that within 3 hours of being by a body of water, people report feeling refreshed and revitalized. There’s even a term for that natural high—it’s called “Blue Mind”.

Intersection of science and real life.   

A marine biologist and scholarly scientist by the name of Wallace J. Nichols is leading a field of study that is looking more seriously at the neuroscience of the human--water connection.

When was the last time you spent time with the ocean, a river, a lake or even the subtle trickle of a creek?  No time like the present my friend. Nudge nudge.