In the early hours of a Monday morning in April, I drive an hour to Shell Creek Rd. in Atascadero, CA. A more popular and supposedly more spectacular sight for a superbloom is in Carrizo Plains National Monument, but I opt for a lesser known location.
Wikipedia says: A superbloom is a rare desert botanical phenomenon in California and Arizona in which an unusually high proportion of wildflowers whose seeds have lain dormant in desert soil germinate and blossom at roughly the same time. The phenomenon is associated with an unusually wet rainy season.
When I arrive in the early morning mist, flowers whisper their wondrous mystery. An hour later when the sun’s rays tiptoe in, their colors pop in shining glory. Spectacular.
“People have been discussing their profound experiences in nature for the last several 100 years—from Thoreau to John Muir to many other writers,” says researcher David Strayer, of the University of Utah. “Now we are seeing changes in the brain and changes in the body that suggest we are physically and mentally more healthy when we are interacting with nature.” Scientists are beginning to find evidence that being in nature has a profound impact on our brains and our behavior, helping us to reduce anxiety, brooding, and stress, and increase our attention capacity, creativity, and our ability to connect with other people. In “The Nature Fix”, Florence Williams uncovers the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain. She makes the case that connecting with nature extends both the quantity and quality of life.
My family life has been a wee bit challenging lately as we navigate a loving member’s illness. It is no wonder my recent travels have been in retreat to nature. It makes sense to me: Human is Nature. Nature is God. God is Love. We are One.
There is no comparison to a live-nature-experience, but I want you to “get the picture” – just me, flowers and cows, on a Super Bloomin’ Day.
“I see skies of blue
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world”
– George David Weiss and Bob Thiele (sung by Louis Armstrong)