I am always happy to be in the waters of our lake, so I wasn’t angry. In fact, it fills me with joy just to look at it, just as it makes me happy to gaze upon our Madison lakes.
And now we know why, thanks to a guy named Wallace J. Nichols. He turned my head when I heard him on NPR discussing his new book, “Blue Mind.” The title alludes to the state we achieve emotionally and psychologically when we are in or around water. Water, says Nichols, can bring peace to our frazzled souls. And he should know because he is a renowned scientist who spent time in the water with sensors on his head. In addition to Blue Mind, Nichols asserts that we also have Red Mind when we’re frazzled and Gray Mind when hopeless.
Nichols’ work has verified what we already know in our hearts: Water soothes us because it is from whence we came—a powerful notion for Madison and Dane County given our bounty of lakes and the vistas they provide.