Pam Ferris-Olson of South Freeport shares digital stories and podcasts on human connections with the ocean at her website, Women Mind the Water. Contributed

FREEPORT — Molly Morell of Falmouth had suffered several leg scratches after venturing into a thorny bramble to pick blackberries on Cliff Island. The cool, crisp Casco Bay waters beckoned to her as a means of washing the blood and sweat from her knees and calves.

“The water was icy cold, and clear and invigorating,” said the Falmouth woman, who waded “up to my hearing-aided ears.”

“I was elated. My 70-year-old body vibrated with cleanliness and clarity and well-being,” she said.

Molly Morell of Falmouth shared her tale of bonding with the ocean while summering on Cliff Island. Screenshot

Morell’s is one of a collection of about 60 videos posted at, a website created by Pam Ferris-Olson – a South Freeport educator, writer, photographer and videographer – that is home to digital stories like Morell’s and a podcast series alike.

“The timing was right,” Morell said last week, saying she’d just had the “exhilarating water experience” when she heard about Ferris-Olson’s project. “Writing and recording the story allowed me to celebrate the experience and vividly remember it.”

Being back on the water after moving from Ohio to Maine in 2016 “just unleashed something that was laying dormant for many years,” said Ferris-Olson, who also once lived in the San Francisco Bay area. “… I grew up on the water and it gets into your soul.”

In creating Women Mind the Water, she has offered a forum that encourages collaboration among women.

“Women Mind the Water explores the connection between women and water through storytelling,” the website notes. “Water is both life-giving and an integral part of our cultural, historical, economic, political, religious, spiritual and contemplative life. Women are keenly aware of the tides that flow within us, which is why WMW lies at the intersection of the themes of women, water and storytelling.”

“The term women is not prescriptive,” it adds. “We celebrate diversity in all forms and oppose discrimination including gender stereotype, race, ethnicity, ability, and age.”

The digital stories project calls for women across the country to record and submit their stories of personal experiences and connections with the water. Through the podcast series, artists discuss how those connections influence their creations. Contact information for those interested in submitting stories or collaborating can be found on the website.

“It can be tragedy, it can be learning how to swim, it can be something that you saw on the water,” Ferris-Olson said of the various memories shared. “Women have told me all kinds of different stories. Each of them has been inspirational in their own way, because it’s the things that are really important to us, that move us, that stay in our memory.”

Ferris-Olson said she hopes people tuning into the stories and podcasts “will be inspired to want to use their eyes more; I hope they will feel an affinity for the other artists and storytellers, and the ocean. When you have a community that tells stories, not only do we learn from each other, but we lift each other up.”

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