Water. There is something about the sound of a splash, waves curling with foam before crashing onto the shore, the white noise of the ebb and flow of tides that brings a calm and focus to my brain, causing connections to build, ideas to generate, understandings to emerge.
Maybe it is the smell, briny molecules that tickle my nostrils. Cool, damp. Particles searching for their polar opposites, sticking together, forming droplets that create a film on my skin, a chemical change that soothes not only the body but also the soul.
Could it be the walking that makes the difference? Putting one foot in front of the other, the bipedal motion integrating the hemispheres of the brain, breathing in and out, swinging arms in rhythm. Or is it the combination of water, walking, and fresh air that energize the mind, replenish the spirit, and allow for creative thinking and problem solving?
As I walk the shore my eyes search the horizon, taking in the blues and greens and all the shades of white. I notice the ripples in the sand under my feet, the tiny bean clams sitting up on end partially buried, the uneven terrain of pools and islands revealed as the tides pull the water back. Seagulls squawk, shouting directions and warning to their kin, Sandpipers whistle their concerns. Pelicans dive and float, soar and scan, only to dive again. Children scream and squeal as they race into and out of the water.
In all of this commotion, there is stillness and space. I breathe deeply, taking it all in.