top of page
  • Anette Frisch

Reframing the relationship

Aktualisiert: 18. März

My favorite book of the year 2023 is "Ebb & Flow" by Surfer and Marine Social Scientist Dr. Easkey Britton. Not only is she the first Irish woman who surfed the big wave - she also is an engaged Ecologist and brillant writer. In the video interview we talk about how to restore our relationsship to nature and water and why reciprocity is all that matters.

You see a women surfing waves.
Born in Donegal Bay: Easkey Britton has very much experienced what she describes. ©

Last year I found the book "Ebb and Flow: Connect with the patterns and power of water" by Easkey Britton in a small well selected book store in Scotland. I was immediatley attached to it as I am interested in the relationship between humans and water. Why do I find swimming so soothing? Why so calm? Why is there this deep and insatiable longing for being in water whereever I am? As if I have to feed a primal feeling. So I found the book - or it found me, depends on how you resonate to the world and its phenomens.

While flipping through "Ebb and Flow" in this little bookstore, I didn't know a thing about Easkey. Which changed, obviously. Easkey Britton holds a PhD in Environment and Society. She grew up in Donegal Bay and is known for her surf proficiency. Easkey was the first female surfer to ride the big wave - nearly five meters high - of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. As an oceans advocat she designs international summits and global leadership programms including the annual Wavemaker retreat in Portugal and Move Like Water retreat for women.


"My whole life has been shaped by water.

And then, when I got into it, I realised how crazy it was to write a book about water. It's the story of the whole world."


Since having discovered the book in June 2023 I have been reading Ebb & Flow three times. Not because I didn't understand it, but because I constantly discover new insights. I have learned so much about the human relationsship with water - from a socio-ecological, socio-logical, physical and feminine perspective.

I have learned ...that over 70 per cent of the world's large river systems having been damned and diverted; in Europe only 12 per cent of all rivers remain free flowing; ...that Surf therapy has been so beneficial to the US Marine Corps that they have worked "ocean therapy" into their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment regime; ... that in our brains alpha waves, which are linked with relaxed mental states, increase when we see the ocean or even water scences and that water sounds have the greatest positive effect on our health than any other sounds.

You see a woman flowing on a body of water on her own. She is holding her belly like protecting it. Maybe she is pregnant.
Water sounds have the greatest positive effect on health than other sounds. Easkey Britton in and surrounded by water ©

I've learned how important the knowledge of indigenous societies is for protection of bodies of waters, as thes cultures pass on their wisdom to next generations. I now know, that rivers can be granted of legal personhood like the Arato in Columbia, the first river to be a legal person under the Rights of Nature framework in 2016. And I learned that a lot of rivers have female names: the Rivers Seine was named after the goddess Sequana, the Danube gets it name from Danu, the great mother goddess who appears in Ireland and India and Anuket is the goddess of the Nile and nourisher of fields.

All amongst I have learned to re/connect with bodies of waters by practicing the exercises Easkey Britton has developed to reframe and strengthen our relationship towards nature and especially bodies of water.

A hand is holding the book Ebb and Flow. In the background there is water and a rock. It is a beach scene.
Highly recommended: Ebb and Flow by Easkey Britton, Watkins Publishing, 2023

Photocredit Thumbnail: James Connolly, Sligo and North West


bottom of page