I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. –John Muir
Can you imagine taking a nap in water? Let alone water you couldn’t touch the bottom of? Impossible. And yet, that’s exactly what my family and I witnessed a few weeks ago at Little Manitou Lake.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Little Manitou, it is a small spring fed lake about 120km from Saskatoon, Canada. The water is particularly high in potassium, sodium, silica, iron oxide, and magnesium, so high, in fact, that the salinity is approximately half of the Dead Sea and is one of only 5 lakes on earth that have such a mineral content. The mineral composition makes it particularly easy to float and while the area is rather quiet, there are countless anecdotal accounts dating back to Indigenous and European contact of visitors being healed of various ailments by the curious and usual waters.
Across the street from the lake is a full service spa and pools (hot and warm) filled with the lake water. This is where we found people napping in the pool’s deep end.
It’s a strange sensation to be forced to float. And when they say it would be difficult to drown here, it is remarkably true. Each of us, with our various swimming abilities, needed some time to get used to navigating the water. It is both harder and easier to move. Eventually, we all settled on just comfortably floating. Truth be told, there isn’t really a choice.
A couple of hours immersed in the warm pool has a profoundly relaxing effect, I am sure due in no small part, to the chemical makeup. But there is also a trust that this place compells. There is an undeniable and unusual support, an unmistakable message to be found in these warm, almost womb like waters. We are all supported by nature, we always have been and always will be. Though the message is so obvious in this particular place, we can access it anywhere. Across time and space in this wide world, there is nature waiting to support each of us, we simply need to be open to connecting with it.
If you feel called to share how you connect with nature, I would love to read it!