It is interesting how a word can have both a glorious meaning when applied to nature, and a dismal one when applied to man.
Shallow water meant my non-swimming mom or friend could come in, too. The shallow part of a pool, lake or even an ocean also meant the water had a warm spot. (In New England, it’s not unusual to shout, “I found a warm spot!” wherever you are and in any season!) If one got out to the deeper parts or to where the movement of the water was mercurial, one could return to the steadily warm(er) — anything to stay in that water ’til one’s body got used to it!
Shallow people, however, are not steadily warm(er). They might even keep the “Warm spot here!” to themselves. I cannot imagine any native Americans doing so; life itself depended upon one another’s sharing bounty. I imagine it was a fairly arduous life, and shouting the word for “Warm!” was enjoyed at all ages.
In the happy shallows of a lake, one can see the little fishes who come exploring even beyond the reedy section. One can always see the sand below sparkling here and there, as if hiding diamond chips. There aren’t many treasures below that one can bring to shore to keep — to bring home as a memento, but it’s alright. One lives in the treasures all — indeed, they cushion one’s very feet (and eyes) — for a time.