Our Obsession with Flowers Explained
A fresh arrangement of flowers on your coffee table, on a stack of books, or next to your bed—add warmth and beauty to any home. Lucky for us Californians, spring is in full gear and flowers are in bloom, and poppy fields are just a drive away. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve boasts endless fields of poppy dreams, when I set out to enjoy its wonder, I could not get over the crazy traffic and large crowds of people, just like me, wanting to experience this temporal beauty. It got me thinking, why are we so obsessed with flowers?
After a little digging here is what I found:
What Flowers Do for You
Let’s begin by introducing their purpose in relation to human beings. Flowers aid in moments of celebration as much as mourning. On the day of your wedding, many don’t think twice about paying thousands of dollars to a florist. Although flowers wilt, they are still sacrificed, as a symbol for true love. Customarily they are the go to symbol of apologies. They have posed bedside in times of sickness and hopes for well wishes next to hospital beds. Flowers can be brewed in teas that help relieve cramps, like chamomile, and some flowers have inspired inventors to make transformative creations like velcro thanks to burdock flowers. There’s no questioning it’s value, flowers are an integral part of our culture.
What Psychologists Say
Dr. Breuning, from Psychologist Today, agrees that flowers trigger happiness in your brain through a chemical called dopamine. Because much of our development comes from the times of hunter gatherer societies, the first sighting of a flower meant the long winter was over, and it was plenty reason to rejoice. Today a similar excitement prevails but not for that exact reason, we are still wired to view bright colors in flowers as happiness. Another well known chemical, oxytocin, is known to produce feelings of trust and bonding. Flowers help us to feel closer and build trust because they communicate investment in relationships. The delicate nature of flowers is said to remind us that care is necessary to sustain life.
What Poets Say
“What is in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Shakespeare understood that there is much to learn from the nature of flowers. Poets like Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost used flowers to express their feelings of joy and angst alike in poems like, “Tulips,” “Lethe in my flower,” or “Flower- Gathering.”
Writing from the perspective of flowers is an effective tool for the creative mind as it can paint vivid images which engage your reader in more than one sense.
What You Should Do For Flowers
Because flowers do so much for you, it would be great if you found yourself not only buying flowers, but also paying them respect. If you find yourself visiting one of the many poppy fields this spring do your best to stay on the trails designated for your viewing. Your selfie will be that much more beautiful if the memory of you crushing a group of them with your butt is not any part of it.
Use flowers as inspiration to create art. Go to fields and let them consume you--to paint or write. Buy seeds and plant flowers in your front yard, if you just can’t help but pick a few or buy a bunch you can use them afterwards to make your own rose water or let them adorn your living room after they have dried.