From birth, we are endlessly exposed to water. It comprises nearly three-quarters of our bodies and even more of the earth's surface. Many of us begin or end our day in its fold, whether in a shower or a bath.
It has a calming affect, which is most notable on the water. I've often marveled at the ability of water to draw people together, to bring out the goodness in each other.
When passing other boaters on the lake, everyone always waves. In boats crammed in the locks for passage upstream or down, people will exchange greetings and thoughts on the day.
I still find it odd, that if a boat is broken down on the water, or an individual appears to be stranded along a remote shoreline, boaters will almost always rush to their aid.
Conversely, if that same family of broken down boaters were to be found with their car's hood open along the highway, the vast majority of other travelers would whiz right by. And pity the lone traveler, standing along the roadside. "We don't pick up hitchhikers," exclaims the same driver just back from piloting a boat that aided a stranded swimmer.
Water has strange affects on human behavior. Consider waterfalls, there are few scenes as captivating to humans. Like the coals of a campfire or the crashing of ocean surf, waterfalls are mesmerizing. They can hold the human mind in a seemingly hypnotic trance. There is no, man-made object that can induce such a mindless, blank stare.
Scientifically, this mind numbing, drool inducing, static stare is known as involuntary attention. It is also known as fascination. While words are incapable of fully explaining the allure of falling water, the attraction is undeniable.
Possibly it comes from some innate, primitive connection to earth's element. The ever changing nature of a waterfalls are similar to the coals of a fire and each scene generates comparable levels of intensity of interest.