3 min read

An Awesomeness of Flowers

An Awesomeness of Flowers

I write this newsletter for a simple reason: to bring joy and wonder into people's lives.

You've probably noticed that your email inbox is mostly filled with urgent, wordy messages, promotions, and lots of clutter these days. I want this newsletter to instead offer you a beam of light that brightens your day.

While my newsletters mostly focus on fascinating topics, it sometimes feels right to just look at pretty pictures and feel a moment of connection with the natural world.

And wandering in fields of flowers a few days ago, I found myself thinking that springtime is one of those times of year when it's better to let go and celebrate.

There is something profound about standing among flowers, and it can be intoxicating in a way that's hard to describe.

For example, if I had to be honest, the fields of yellow balsamroot and purple lupines that I found myself surrounded by would have smelled like kitty litter if I was smelling them in isolation. Instead the smell tickled and pleased my senses in ways that unlocked immense pleasure because I was experiencing something bigger than any one sense in isolation.

What is it about fields of flowers that we respond to?

I did some research into this question and the answers are less than satisfying. For instance, some scientists have suggested that we respond to the beauty of flowers because they signal food availability.

Others claim that flowers trigger "happy brain" chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin because flowers suggest to us the ideas of reward, social bonds, and social importance.

What do you think. Do these ideas help you understand and appreciate the ways you respond to flowers?

For me, the answer is no. When I'm around flowers—especially huge numbers of flowers—what I feel is completeness and peace.

Flowers suggest to me health and abundance, and if they're wildflowers they tell me that I'm in an intact ecosystem with healthy soils and high numbers of pollinators—and that feels good.

I find myself relaxing every time I'm in an undamaged ecosystem free of wounds and invasive species, and a field of flowers signals this condition on a gut level that goes beyond rational analysis or thinking.

However you respond to flowers, I hope you have at least one day this spring to wander at will among flowers and soak up their vibrant beauty!

On this same note you might enjoy the video I made last spring, Soaking up Flowers: A Naturalist in Spring.