I love the ocean. It represents God to me. My best summers were spent “down the shore.” From time to time I still feel the need to hear the waves and see the blue horizon. I will never forget the day I took this picture – it was the first time I ever saw dolphins in New Jersey! I was glad to find a beach that is only a 90 minute drive from our house, but it seemed a poor substitute for Florida and Hawaii, which are trips that are now too difficult for me to take. When I saw three dolphins jumping playfully, it was exciting because it was such a surprise. And I was reminded, once again, to be content with the way things are, because simple pleasures still bring joy when least expected.
Now Wallace J. Nichols, PhD, has published a book, Blue Mind, in which he documents the ways in which being near water benefits us. In addition to making us happier, healthier and more connected, he also shows that it actually can make us better at what we do. As it turns out, our brains have an instinctive, innate connection to water, whether we are aware of it or not. He calls the positive mental state which results from hearing, feeling, and or seeing water Blue Mind. He shows us how access to water can combat PTSD, depression, and autism, which he labels Gray Mind. Interesting stuff!