And long before our evolutionary ancestors shimmied from the primordial waters onto land millions of years ago, the ocean was our first home.
We can go weeks without food but only three days without drinking water. We peek into tidepool portals, our curious eyes searching for vibrant, resilient signs of life. We search for water on exoplanets, shook by phosphine suspended in Venus’s acidic clouds.
On moonless summer nights, the edges of our kayaking paddles glow as bioluminescent plankton that synthesize oxygen scatter. From up above, our planet’s surfaces are covered in over 70% water – an infinitesimal pale blue droplet in a cosmic sea of space.
This summer, we invite you to step into the waters of the Pacific Ocean that have shaped the San Francisco Bay Area, to seek a deeper relationship with this essential source of life.
In times of loss, grief, and change, what lessons can we learn from the rhythms of the tides and the deep calm at the center of the ocean? What could it feel like to surrender to the creative flow of our own intuition? How might we honor and appreciate the personhood of water, living in reciprocity with underwater kelp forests and the sustenance they provide?
Cradled in water, the womb was our first home.
Summer 2022 /
/ water worlds
Photo by Shasha Du
Oh, Sweet Summer!
Playlists inspired by the formless, fugitive, & fleeting quality of water, the roar of waves crashing on the shore, the elegant cascade of water down a mountaintop, the jubilee of sea lions thrashing in the waves, the wonder of hearing the entire ocean inside a seashell.
To activate yin / 阴 energy, listen to The Sea
To activate yang / 阳 energy, listen to The Coast
Let us lay on our backs like sunning geckos as the days lengthen, widening our eyes as our planet tilts and the core of the Milky Way curves into view: the prime stargazing window.
Two summer moons will be supersized – the full bellies of the Buck and Sturgeon Moon will dangle in the skies at the nearest point in their orbit of Earth, ending with a seasonal favorite: the wildly celebrated Harvest Moon, just after sunset.
As the moon’s gravity pulls on our ocean’s surface, tides will ebb and flow with elliptical regularity. Pacific salmon who were slow to migrate in the spring will return home to their freshwater streams to prepare for the next spawning season, while humpback and blue whales hug the coast, migrating through the currents where orcas, gray and sperm whales recently departed.
Look up north for mama quails, our state bird, whose newly hatched spring chicks will surely be trailing behind her. And as summer draws to a close, wave goodbye to tropical bird friends departing southbound on the Pacific flyway for warmer winds.
Art above by Ohara Hale and Ness Lee, Film still from Moonlight
Our curated picks for continuous, lifelong learning about the cosmos
Water skin woman by Rachel Simon Stark
Water Protector Pledge by Carole Lindstrom
What water can teach us about climate change by Bayo Akomolafe
Be As Water with Bruce Lee
Lake Loop by Natalie Diaz
Self-Portrait as a Body, A Sea by Donika Kelly
🎞 Films & Books
A River Changes Course, directed by Kalyanee Mam
Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong