Flowers for the spirit
FTLComm - Tisdale - Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I suppose there is a place in this world for commerce, business, work and all those sort of practical things that we do and are involved in to pay the bills and put gas in out tank but when it comes right down to it, what we really need most in life are things that lift our spirits. Things that raise us above the "getting and spending" part of existence and for many people that may take the form of music, performing arts, sunsets but without a doubt it is hard to find anything other than chocolate that can put a smile on your face like flowers.

Some refer to the uplifting elements that create experiences that take us above the sensible and the practical as "aesthetics".
Art, music literature, dance, drama, poetry and indeed the crafting of sound, story, and visuals together in motion pictures and television are all part of that world that we casually refer to as the arts. But each of these components of the intellectual elevation system have a tough time competing with some very simple things and among the simple things are rainbows and flowers.

On Saturday morning my wife and I went out to the Four Season's Greenhouse to pick up some bedding plants to finish off our little garden in the back yard. It was a practical trick yet when I stepped through the door into the petunia section of the greenhouse all my practical thoughts were clouded over with the scent of the flowers, the brilliant colours and even more by the hummingbird that was busy visiting blossom after blossom.
The assault of colour, the enticement of aroma the tranquillity of lush green leaves combine to boldly return one's mind to the essence of life itself. Growing things, diverse yet sharing common elements with one another, flowers are quite simply all about sex. Their function is implicitly involved in the reproduction of plant life but their colour and complexity demonstrate in a dramatic fashion how basic and fundamental each living thing is and how each is interconnected into the whole of creation.

Standing there amidst the flowers definitely transported me to a feeling of sublime contentment, flowers to me are a kind of sedative that calm my being and transcend the mundane, vacuum up the dust of confusion and sprinkle a cascade of little chuckles through that moment in time.
I know there are many people who get a similar feeling when they smell bread just out of the oven or perhaps other odours that trigger the familiar in the mind's eye. I must admit that I harbour a secret lust for the smell of aviation fuel and the miss of JP-4 that sweeps down the ramp of most airports on a busy day. I also remember being quite startled
to catch the scent in a crowd of very inexpensive perfume that took me back to notes secreted across the isle in grade five. Smells seem to go directly to the emotional base of the brain and the structure of our mental system sits atop that seat of emotion. No wonder smells open the window to memories like almost no other experience.

We also know that music, recognised or slipped into our environment can trigger emotions much more powerful than almost anything else in our experience. Music is a mathematical thing and jumps from emotion to analytical and back without our awareness and can in a few moments of exposure last for hours.

One of the things researchers have discovered is that pleasure, be it a flower or a melody, or a joke lasts far beyond the moment of exposure. Have a good moment and it can last almost all day.