What is it about water that so many people find endlessly fascinating and soul soothing? People pay top dollar to live in homes that have a view of water – any water – ocean, lake, pond, marsh, stream. Prime vacation spots are often on, in or near the water.

I love the sound of our backyard mini waterfall. I can also sit and look at it for hours. The sound of waves lapping onto the shore have been recorded innumerable times for relaxation tapes, sleep aides and comfort for newborns.

Ogunquit sea shore seagulls

People also love the feel of water; pushing through the fingers, falling onto the hand, resisting a closed palm, like in swimming. People walk with their feet in the water at beaches and swim anywhere they can, both under the water and on top. There are a plethora of gadgets to help you play in the water, from inner tubes to noodles, paddle-boards, beach balls, etc. There are also too many water sports to even try to list.


There is a theory that our obsession with water is rooted in our time in our mother’s womb. As fetuses, we float in the uterus in protective amniotic fluid, gently rocked as our mothers move. We may even hear the sounds of swooshing water. Which could explain the universality of humans’ love affair with water.

But it doesn’t explain why only some people seek the water in many different aspects of their lives.

Personally, we choose to live in the woods — but we own a boat. Listening to water slapping against our hull is our version of Nirvana. Our boat is big enough so we’re not close to the waterline when on-board.


So we have an inflatable dinghy that we drive around. In that, we are as close to the water level as you can get, like in a canoe or a rowboat. I can’t resist putting my hands in the water and opening my fingers as we ride through the water. I love the sound of the little boat pushing through the water, punctuated by the percussion bursts of waves breaking against its sides.


I don’t have any earth shattering conclusions to make. I’m sure there are research studies out there on the subject. It’s just that I’m on my boat enjoying being on the water and wondering why it is so satisfying for me. I had a swimming pool and a pond during summers growing up but no one in my family went to beaches or liked boats. We were city folks who ‘roughed it’ in the countryside of Fairfield County, CT during our summer vacations.


So I have no family history or childhood memories to fall back on, except the pool and the pond. Maybe that, combined with my primal connection with amniotic fluid, is enough.


  1. It’s so true isn’t it. In fact next weekend we’re planning another camping trip … to the beach. But anywhere near water is good for the soul. Absolutely no doubt about it.


    1. Different people have different relationships with the water. Some love to actually be in it and some only like to be near it or looking at it. I know boaters who don’t like to swim. Go figure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ellin, you hit the target when you mentioned being a city kid. So was I. City and later, suburbs kid/teenager. Water was part of our summer vacation experience. Beaches, camps, etc.
    Decades later, Martha’s Vineyard became our summer hangout for many years. Water everywhere.
    As a TV News reporter, chasing myriad urban stories, the “Vineyard” and its island “isolation” became my great escape.
    Now, when visiting you guys, I look forward to our time on your yacht. Best of times.


    1. Most people seem to see the water as an escape, something soothing and calming – even city people. Maybe city folks need the zen of the water even more than people who don’t live in urban environments. There probably is a study somewhere that would have an answer to that question.


  3. Many people believe that there’s a primal and spiritual connection between water and Mother as goddess. I love the smell of salt and the sound of waves breaking on the shore. But I ‘ll also settle for a riverbank or pond. I’m not picky 😀


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