Years ago I read an article somewhere that said that looking into the distance is good for your eyes. Can I find that study now, or anything like it? The closest is this one: LOOKING INTO THE DISTANCE: Improve eyesight naturally using this simple method. I was surprised there weren’t more links, even though I tried a variety of search terms to nail down the idea. I need to up my Google-Fu!
But whether I can find documentation today or not, I have believed this for years and will continue to believe it. Our eyes spend so much time focusing on the near distance — on our computers, what we’re chopping/cooking, folding laundry, kids’ antics — that they desperately need a break. Yes, we can close them, we can rub them, we can put refreshing drops in them, we can cover them with sliced cucumbers, but don’t forget to gaze at the horizon, too!
Jim and I recently spent twelve days in Florida, most of it at Manasota Key (Englewood), south of Tampa on the Gulf. I love the ocean. Always have, though I grew up totally landlocked in Manitoba, Canada. You could make an argument for the prairies sharing the Long View with the ocean, and you’d be right. But somehow, the flatlands don’t whisper to my soul like the ocean does.
What is it about the ocean? It’s the salty tang in the air. It’s the rhythmic surf that soothes both the eyes and ears. It’s the mesmerizing beauty of the changing clouds. But a lot of it is the long view. I love to stand at the water’s edge and feel the warm waves lap over my toes while I stare into the distance, not consciously thinking about anything in particular.
Caveat: I also love British Columbia’s wild Pacific coast, and “warm water lapping over my toes” is NOT a thing there. It’s ice cold year round! But at the moment, we’re talking Florida.
Do you suppose it’s one reason people are drawn to watching the full moon rising, or the sun setting? Maybe it’s not only the beautiful, shifting glow. Maybe it meets a subconscious need for the long view, a rest for our weary eyes, and a connection to nature.
I think I’ll go for a walk now, and rest my eyes on the horizon.