In the old stories, magic happened on the edges of things. The liminal zones. Doorways to somewhere else.
Where the fields brushed up against the dark forests. On the top of hills where they touched the sky. Beside lakes, where Arthur gained his sword of power from the Otherworld of gods that existed through the surface.
And where the land meets the sea.
Research has shown that dreams are stronger there. The sound of the waves changes the brain’s rhythms, making it more receptive, meditative. Perhaps conjuring up the boom of the mother’s heart, through the amniotic fluid, perhaps not.
A 2015 study showed being beside the sea activated the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure. It cuts stress, reducing the amount of the hormone cortisol in the blood stream, just by watching waves.
Sea swimming delays the onset of dementia, according to a recent study. And at the same time, it boosts the ‘happy hormone’ dopamine by a whopping 250%, reducing depression and anxiety.
Research by Dr Jo Garrett of Exeter University showed people who lived by the sea had much better mental health than those who lived inland, and it reduced the requirement for antidepressants and other medication.
Dreams. Sea. Stars. The moon. A place where you can connect with a different reality and conjure up a different way of being.