Today I started planning my annual sabbatical trip to Door County. Up there is where my heart is. Or perhaps my soul. I can sit on the rock beach by the cottage for hours and watch the occasional boat wander by, listen to the seagulls play and swoop down into the water. I can read a book to the sound of the waves. Sometimes those waves are gently lapping up against the rocks in a simple splash. Other days it is more like roar when the wind has whipped up the bay and made her angry. Both sounds soothe me.
Some days I take a picnic and a notepad and go in search of a new place to sit and look out at the water. I might find myself down by the water in Sturgeon Bay watching all the boats go in and out. Or there is a small park with a boat launch on the north side of the bay directly across from Sherwin Point Lighthouse. The cottage that I stay in is only a short walk from that lighthouse. I find that driving over to the other side of the bay and looking back towards the lighthouse allows me a new perspective for the day.
There is a different feeling when near a large body of water . When I am stressed I naturally find my way towards Lake Michigan. Even in the dead of winter. The water has almost this ominous feel to it. The color is darker and is usually churning large chunks of ice. Sometimes you can see ice circles which is very cool.
The air is different. There are more negative ions in the air surrounding a large body of water (or waterfall or mountain). And these negative ions can have a huge impact on our well being. According to WebMD, once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy. They boost oxygen to the brain. I don’t know about you but I need that pretty much on a daily basis! It’s no wonder that I feel so much better when I am at the cottage – it’s my own version of therapy.