“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”

The title is a quote from Loren Eiseley, an American anthropologist, educator, philosopher, and natural science writer, who taught and published books from the 1950s through the 1970s. He received many honorary degrees and was a fellow of multiple professional societies. At his death, he was Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. (Wikipedia)

I remember first coming across this quote while in college, and as a swimmer, it held a special meaning for me.

I thought of it again this week when my son and I decided to take a drive out to Marsh Creek State Park, home of a 500-acre man-made lake. As soon as we got our first glimpse of the lake, I could feel an actual sense of calm settle over me. I can’t put it into words, but it felt like seeing the lake was exactly what I needed at that moment.

So yes, there must be some sort of magic in water, and we hope to go back again next week and do some swimming in the lake.

But then this whole thought was further amplified today when I was talking with one of our neighbors. I mentioned to her that we had met my wife’s sister’s family at the Willows, a nearby park that has both a little pond and a stream. It’s a beautiful setting, and it was a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

My neighbor then said that she had just been at the park an hour ago, because she just needed to see some water, and once she did, she felt better.

So how odd that the two of us both felt the same need/sensation about water in the same week.

Perhaps it’s the lockdown that has us appreciating even more what nature has to offer us.

And if these two incidents don’t prove Eiseley’s words, I’m not sure what would…

(image from Dragonpipe Diary

73 thoughts on ““If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”

  1. I agree with the quote and also think water is mentally soothing. Water probably should be regarded as one of the world’s natural wonders. I don’t think we have found any other celestial body that posses liquid water on the surface.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love the ocean as well, Robbie, and I think that’s part of why I felt the way I did when I saw the lake. I have not yet been to the ocean this summer, and I guess I am missing it more than I knew. I hope your parks open soon…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If you think about it, our body and our world is mostly build up water… it would be natural to find it soothing and therapeutic… but no matter how much I love them I never really think deeply about it. But you’re right… there’s something magical about water. My son can’t resist playing with it as soon as he was able to walk to the water top or any place with water 😄

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Back in 2017 when we had our court case. I had told my husband where I wanted to go as soon as the trial was over. We didn’t leave court til 10pm, we were exhausted but the next mornimg we were up early to head to the beach! 4 and 1/2 hour trip but soo worth it!! The ocean is the best natural anti-depressant. . 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did watch for hours. I didn’t get in the water for it was April when we were there. A little too cold of water for me!
        LOL! Love how you slip in beachfront and six-pack. How many do I owe you now?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As someone who enjoys drinking water, I have to agree that there is magic in it. As long as you get the good water. If you drink the bad water, that’s a whole different kind of magic that you would not want! That is a great quote!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We are blessed to live on a planet whose surface is dominated by water. It has, throughout history, been what we cleave to. Our great societies and cities were all built near a great water source. It is within us and without at every turn. We are born of it. Your post reminds me of my days on the ocean with nary a piece of land in sight for days. It is our source of life and our greatest love. Well written and reflective, Jim!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that movie, but I understand he has something to do with the skullduggery of LA’s infamous water district. Those who control water out here have a lot of power.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Eiseley was right. My favourite part of the UK is the Lake District, which offers blissful relaxation. I was born in a coastal town, and have always enjoyed the more elemental aspects of being near water too.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It really is. Some wonderful scenery and you can get a culture fix there too, with the homes of Wordsworth and Ruskin to visit, not forgetting Beatrix Potter for the little ones.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s probably the worst time for it – unless you like cold, rain and snow! If the weather is good late March into April can be good, as you get to see Wordsworth’s daffodils and the new born lambs.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s not odd at all. I believe it heals the mind, body & spirit. Sounds so cliche but it is true. Looking out into the water or hearing the flow of a river or water crash at the bottom of a waterfall leaves you feeling calm. Well, unless your in a boat and get washed over that waterfall and plunge to your death. I suppose you will feel a calm in a different way. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You connected with a lot of us on this one, Jim. There is magic with water that seems hard to define. We live next to the Pacific Ocean, and the feeling of a powerful force such as that is much different than the feeling of being on a serene lake. While I appreciate the awesomeness of the ocean, I’ll take a calm body of water every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The magic of water seems to resonate with a lot of people. And I don’t know which I like better, the sound of the ocean surf and the waves, or the serenity of a clear blue mountain lake (with thanks to John Denver…)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow that is such an interesting coincidence, I’m glad we are able to better appreciate nature and I think that’s one of the good things that has come out of this horrible situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think we all agree its a great quote…I drink more water than anything else and it’s my last drink at night delivered to me by my grandchildren …bless them…As for the sea there is nothing like a walk on the beach and its what I miss living here although its only an hours plane journey but we have some lovely parks here all with a lake and or waterfall of which Thailand has many…Thais love water so I fit in just right…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Some.. My friend found one which ventured out from the lake and was by the rubbish bin.. She did not stay to say hello… That was in Phuket… Personally I wouldn’t venture into lakes here.. Water snakes come to mind… I’ll stick to a paddle in the sea or a swim in a pool…

        Liked by 1 person

  10. So true Jim, the lockdowns have definitely had me appreciating nature and my local area more, though I always have. I’m definitely grateful for the area I live it. Great that you got to appreciate nature with Patio! Hope you’re doing great, Shelley

    Liked by 1 person

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