Currently, I am reading Blue Mind: The Science That Shows how Being Near In On or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier More Connected and Better At What You Do. Certainly, the subtitle alone would catch my attention. It is not what I usually pick up, but the foreword is written by Celine Cousteau, Jacques Cousteau’s granddaughter.
I do feel better, happier and healthier when I am near water. In my teens, I was fortunate to be part of Mystic Seaport’s Training Program. I spend one summer, living at Mystic on the Joseph Conrad. The following summer, I was part of the crew which sailed the Brilliant, a 52-foot schooner up and down the coast. I fell in love with the sounds and smells of the ocean. Water is my inspiration and my serenity.
I moved to New Jersey as an adult and live within a half-hour of the Jersey shore. I kayak rivers, lakes in New Jersey and also rivers and lakes in Maine. We vacation in Maine and I always find a place on the water for our stay.
My best writing is completed near the water. The idea for my first book, Stranger To Love, was sparked sitting on a bay in Maine. I started writing it while staring at a boulder in Frenchman Bay. The setting of If You Dare, my second novel, was the Jersey shore.Last summer on our trip to Jonesport, Maine, I wrote the beginning for my second book in my WF series, Swept Away.
The background for Swept Away is wrath of Hurricane Sandy both during the hurricane and the devastating aftermath. Although my family was only slightly affected by the wrath of Sandy, many of my friends’ lives were dramatically altered by that hurricane. The main character in that book questions the beauty of the ocean and the beaches after she survives the hurricane’s assault. It was a theme expressed repeatedly by friends who lost property, houses and precious belongings after Sandy’s visit.
Rivers, oceans, lakes have two sides: the pastoral, serene as well as the angry, destructive. I crave time on the water and love the ocean during any season. To add to my obsession, my husband created a video of Sea Isle, New Jersey ocean—just the water and to sounds to provide background when I write (Yes, he is my romantic hero!)
What about you? Are you blessed enough to live near the ocean or another body of water? How important is living or vacationing near water to you?