Water is crucial to all landscapes, even those in deserts that come to life when their irregular rain arrives. People in landscapes are dependent on water – for drinking, for agriculture, for production for example.
Water also provides a means by which people move through their landscapes. Ocean currents, rivers and lakes have provided the paths for exploration, trade and livelihood security for all time.
In 1956, Sigurd Olson, the famous author, environmentalist and advocate for wilderness, wrote:
The movement of a canoe is like a reed in the wind. Silence is part of it, and the sounds of lapping water, bird songs, and wind in the trees. It is part of the medium through which it floats, the sky, the water, the shores…. There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude, and peace. The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten. It is an antidote to insecurity, the open door to waterways of ages past and a way of life with profound and abiding satisfactions (from The Singing Wilderness).
Water provides an important component to LoST experiences – the travel itself, the locations and the movements of travellers to and through them. Landscapes become waterscapes and focus our minds on how crucial water is to lives.