Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Down to the Water

There's something about water.  Something that binds us together as humans, that seems to bring out the best in people.  There is an optimism, a free spirited, good time feeling around water.  Whether on a river, lake, stream, or ocean; water seems to have a good vibe.

It's the power boater who waves as they pass you by when you are becalmed in your dinghy.  It's the guy playing with his dog next to the boat launch who wades out to give you a push when you are starting to drift towards the rocks.  It's the members of a sailing club who have your trailer already in the water when you get back to the launch because you had to be towed in by the committee boat.  These are the same people who would cut you off and give you the finger on the interstate, but around water there is something different.

Water gives us recreation.  It gives us hope.  There is a reason that the Man and the Boy in Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' are always heading towards the coast, away from the desolation of a post apocalyptic world.

Perhaps it is that we are mostly water?

There's a great story from Jimmy Buffet's autobiography, where he talks about his grandmother telling him to go down and wade into the salt water if he got a cut or had skinned his knee, and (paraphrasing here) "Later on down the road of life, I made the discovery that salt water was also good for the mental abrasions one inevitably acquires on land."

I owe a lot to water.  When I was five years old my parents moved from Long Island to the mountains of central NY to start a bottled water company.  In some ways water literally gave me life.

Yet water is not always kind, just ask the residents of the lower 9th ward.

But by and large, people want water in their lives. It gives us hope.

So here's to you water, thanks for everything.  I'm looking forward to a lot more good times.


  1. What a great post! Love the story about Jimmy Buffet and salt water being good for mental abrasions. Will have to read his book now. Great picture too.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! I took the photo on the north shore of St. Thomas in the USVI. I'd highly recommend Jimmy Buffet's autobiography, he writes prose at least as well as he writes songs. Lots of good insights in the book too.