Oceans and the Five Senses

Ocean waves about to crash onto the shore

Melissa wants to take you on an ocean adventure.  Are you ready?

Watch this video and then read on to learn more!

Dear Horizon Families,

I want to talk about the ocean. Picture it in your mind’s eye. Think of rolling waves, the warm sun, the smell of salt water, the feel of salt on your skin, and sand under your feet. Picture a trip to the beach. At birth, our bodies are 78% water and this percentage decreases with age. Being near water makes us happy and calm. People are attracted to environments that have water. A fun fact is that over half the oxygen we breathe originates from the ocean. That may be why I can instantly breathe better when we visit the sea. I can feel the energy of the ocean surround me. Small marine plants like phytoplankton produce oxygen that enters our atmosphere. Protecting marine habitats where these plants grow benefits life on land as well. People love to return to familiar “blue spaces” we grew up around. The immeasurable sense of peace that we feel around water is our “blue mind”- a chance to escape busy daily life, in favor of a rare moment of solitude. Humans are pulled toward the restorative benefits of the ocean. “Sea air” helps our mind. Your brain may receive instant benefits when you first step out on the sand and allow your lungs to be filled with salty, misty air. Water molecules in the ocean air can actually help calm your brain.

When I think of the ocean, I recall using all five of my senses. The sense of sight is used to see the ocean is blue. It’s blue because water absorbs colors in the red part of the light spectrum. Like a filter, this leaves behind colors in the blue part of the light spectrum for us to see. The ocean may also take on green, red, or other hues as light bounces off floating sediments and particles in the water. The color blue provides a sense of calm. The water is so much bigger and powerful than anything else on earth. Sunrise and sunset are more easily seen over the ocean, too. Birds and dolphins can be spotted, as well. The sense of smell is stimulated when our lungs can expand, absorbing the scents of salt water air that come in through our noses. We can taste the ocean. The sea is salty. The saltiness is caused by rain washing mineral ions from the land into the water. Salt water can be deadly to humans. It is not safe to drink. That is why when I accidentally swallow some, while swimming (as as a wave knocks me over), I feel the need to re-hydrate. Bottled water nearby relieves the burning I feel in throat and nose. The sense of sound is my favorite sense used while at the ocean. I love the sound of the waves. Moving water is expert at masking noise, especially the sound of the human voice. When you are at or in the ocean only the waves can be heard whether they are calm or turbulent (waves crashing when they hit the shore). And lastly, the sense of touch. When we enter the water, our bodies can relax muscles used everyday and work others that are used less frequently. We give up gravity, something that’s physically a break for our brain. That is why I believe I feel tired and energized at the end of a day at the beach. I feel refreshed and renewed. Water is medicine. We can feel the sand between our toes. Our feet absorb free ions on the earth’s surface similar to how our lungs absorb ions in the air. It gives us a feeling, a warming sensation as a result of us grounding to earth. I love the feel of dried sand sticking to my skin. It feels as if it belongs on my skin. It becomes part of me, while I enjoy my favorite place on earth.

Oceans allow people to enjoy life with vigor, making sure we never fully lose the child within. The child is within us, no matter how old we are. The joy felt as we experience the ocean confirms that sense and keeps our hearts and minds youthful and full of wonder for our earth. “The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination, and brings eternal joy to the soul”. -Wyland.

And I will add a couple jokes:

What did the ocean say to the shore?   Nothing. It just waved.

What does seaweed say when it’s stuck at the bottom of the sea?  “Kelp, Kelp”