In her book, Anatomy of a Rose, Sharman Apt Russell, nature and science writer, has dubbed human beings as “the blind voyeurs.” She says that while we witness nature’s spectacle of spring flowers, we are not the intended audience. Rather, the intended audience is the pollinators! There is a very serious seduction going on here.
The pollinating bumblebee, the birds, the butterflies and so forth…are the intended audience. Each one of these has a quite unique perspective towards the flowers. And an important purpose. The attracting flower has another intention–to reproduce.
Is our role as human beings to appreciate the beauty of a field of flowers? Or a single flower? To be inspired by a flower while recognizing that it’s not all about us–that the flowers aren’t here specifically for our pleasure. The ones we sometimes see, the ones we often don’t see.
Walking along, when I take the time, I notice the beauty and fragrance of a flower. Witnessing beauty is an amazing exchange so in that way, I (you) could also be an intended audience. It can be both. I appreciate Georgia O’Keeffe’s wisdom on really seeing a flower.
“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time–like to have a friend takes time.”
Last summer’s hyacinth flower.