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In Search of Solace
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In Search of Solace

As the world spins off the rails in a variety of unsettling directions, the need for comfort and tranquility has never been greater. Is this where the power of nature and aquatic environments comes the most into play? Has there never been a better time to seek refuse at the water’s edge? Eric Herman thinks so.

By Eric Herman

One needn’t be a social scientist to see that people are weary and under pressure. The stressor points have been mounting, on an almost existential level. It’s quite a list of worries that include the pandemic, inflation, rising housing and gas prices, climate change, increasingly severe natural disasters, drought, food shortages, drinking-water contamination, deepening cultural and political division, and most recently, war.

While there is certainly vast room for disagreement within the specifics of those issues, there can be no question that combinations of these mega-maladies are ratcheting up anxiety levels for people in all walks of life.  

If there’s one sure-fire remedy, or at least an effective mitigating factor, it is time spent observing and interacting with nature – especially water. As scientist and author Wallace J Nichols has been advocating for years now, embracing the science of “Blue Mind” offers virtually all people a means to feel better, despite the current circumstances. It’s a timeless message worth embracing for a variety of good reasons.

I knew this intuitively years before reading Nichols’ seminal book, “Blue Mind”. Experience in nature taught me long ago that it is the greatest asset we have in the war against anxiety and depression, and I’ve written about it on social media, blogs, magazine articles and in poetry, always in the hope that others might experience nature’s nourishing impact as I have.  

Back in 2015, while living on the shores of the Monterey Bay in the exquisite coastal hamlet of Capitola, Calif., I wrote the poem you see below. It was my way of expressing Blue Mind, even though I didn’t exactly realize it at the time. Because April is National Poetry Month, and in light of the stress-inducing challenges we currently face, I thought it might not hurt to take a brief trip to a place by the shore.

The Infinite Spectrum

We walk to the bluff and gaze across the bay

Alive in the breath of the moment

Becoming as one with possibility

There we seek the Infinite Spectrum

Blues and greens in constant motion

Skies swirling through time

Peripatetic winds surfed

By tireless feathered wings

We lift our eyes to the inerrable light

Seeing the Infinite Spectrum

Grace beyond ancient knowing

Sun’s burning bell curve unfolding

Matter’s expansion proceeding

Immeasurable by earthen shadows cast

Directing our minds into the silence

Perceiving the Infinite Spectrum

Fed by the nourishing broth of nature’s intent

Eternal contours of the moment

Creative rivers of love’s potential

Singing the sensitive chaos

Light, air, land, life and water

Open our hearts to the wilderness

Awakening to the Infinite Spectrum

Chromatic tincture tirelessly combining

Life’s rhythm never ending

Energy cooled into every substance

Celebrates the quantum irony

Uplifting our single spirit to rebirth

To become the Infinite Spectrum

Now, together, we breathe

Inhaling hope and exhaling love

Our breath whispers the wisdom of Earth’s deepest lake

Imbibing the translucent turquoise cider

Iambic passages of fulfillment

Forever conquer suffering

We are that we are

Within the Infinite Spectrum


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