Ask Dr. Annie K: Why is water so important in life?
Water is full of contradictions. It’s soft, yet strong. It appears still, yet it is constantly in motion. It can be silent or loud. It can be solid, liquid, or vapor. It can be salty or sweet. It can be scary and dangerous but also comforting and purifying. It allows us to both observe its beauty and use it to cleanse.
By being exposed to water, we are witnessing the movement and flow of life. It takes away our delusions of control. For people who see things black and white, water can be confronting. They may prefer to admire it from a distance rather than get close. Water reminds us that we don’t need to label ourselves. We are capable of adjusting to the opposite forces of nature. Fighting the current can sink you, floating can save your life.
Why do you think it is that we never forget?
Riding hails us back to early childhood, when learning to ride is a project assigned to a parent night after night. How we feel secure feeling their hand on the back of the seat. How they scream with pride as we ride away from them, down the street, ALONE. Moving by our own power, free to wander.
Some of us, after learning to drive, abandon this activity, relegate it to the young. But there is no question, bike riding is here to stay.
So, a few months ago I shared my 12 goals for summer.
Want to know how I’m doing so far?
1. Learn to skip a stone
I totally did it! I skipped a stone! Many times. Unfortunately, any attempts to snap a picture to capture the moment were unsuccessful. You’ll have to trust me on this. My form needs work. Who knew there was a technique? It starts with finding a very flat stone. I was able to find flat stones along the shore of Lake Michigan quite easily. Then you need to crouch a bit, holding the stone with three fingers. You pretty much know if it’s going to happen the second it rolls off your fingers. Such a great feeling, but my constant practicing may have contributed to my nagging carpal tunnel syndrome (sigh).
“Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you,
Everywhere you go, always take the weather…”
– Crowded House
Have you noticed that as soon as the weather changes, humans try to shield themselves from it?
Initially everyone is out, car windows are wide open. A week or two later, every car that goes by has the windows rolled up. Restaurant outdoor patios, after the initial period of elation, sit empty as we choose ”inside please” to dine in the artificially cooled air. Dining areas inside are often far too cool, hence we bring a sweater. The other day I was sitting on the beach and a neighbor glided by me on the water, standing on her paddle board, her slight body glistening with sweat. She looked up at me and shouted “It’s so hot!” It never crossed her mind to jump in the water. Surely the water is too cold or too hot or too mucky or too something!