Honestly, when you grow up in Alaska's interior and the rivers run with glacial silt, it's not very appealing. That or the bog-like dark-brown mudholes that the moose love, but which have about as much appeal as bathing in mosquitoes. Actually, it's a lot like bathing in mosquitoes. Actually, it's exactly like bathing in mosquitoes.
When your parents caution you that *if* you fall off the boat to strip immediately so you don't get dragged to the bottom by the silt, it's not very inspiring. When your step-dad returns from a fishing trip with a four-foot long northern pike, it's the stuff of nighmares:
Jaws came out when I was a young lad, and though I rarely saw the ocean, so I never really got comfortable in the water. Honestly, I'm very uncomfortable with any environment where *I* am not the apex predator. I'm very comfortable in that role, I guess.
So anyway, I hate water. So why is everyone, including me, so drawn to it?
We just came back from vacation in Lake Wenatchee, and one of the most peaceful experiences there was just going for a paddle on the kayaks.
Water is a sleep-enabler for some people, including my wife, who like the white noise of the water lapping up on the shore. The quietude of the water is undeniable.
Is it the way sound carries across water? An echo that means isolation?
Is it the beauty that surrounds the water, as you sit on an endless blank palette looking at it?
Is it the simple sounds of water, so nearby, so important for life?
Is it a metaphorical trip that water takes us on - unlike hiking - where every foot of distance separates us in a way that other distances can't?
Is it the force of nature that water represents to us?
Is it the ebb and flow of water, as a kind of metaphor for all of life?