I'm off to a good start, so far. This is my second post this week. I know. I'm giving myself a pat on the back right now, just for you! The second little wrinkled paper to get pulled from the dish was, as you can see, Oh Happy Day! I love this topic. It provides endless opportunities for sharing.
Today, I chose: Flowers.
I have always loved flowers and nature. One of my favorite places when I was a kid was hiding under the ferns, or wrestling with a heather bush at the beach. Nature and its beauty was always so calming for me, and there was no better feeling than bringing them home for the dinner table.
Thing haven't changed much.
I still love flowers and relish any opportunity to buy them or pick them and look at them and smell them. I treasure flowers so much. Hubby has recently become more frequent with his floral offerings. I'm not sure why though. Maybe he finally figured out that under most circumstances, flowers will undoubtedly make me happy, and I know, that he knows... a happy wife = a happy life!
Here are a few of of the latest:
Aren't they so beautiful? Can you smell them from there? Don't you just feel so happy when you see them? I do.
I love all the colors, and the smell. It is so nice to wake up in the morning, come downstairs, draw back the curtains and let the sun shine on my table decorated with Mother Nature's finest. I feel like flowers increase happiness on earth. I feel like it's their purpose. I wonder if it really is?
Dun dun dahhh!!!!... MORE RESEARCH!
I decided to see what was out there on flowers and their influence on moods and emotions. Right away, I came across this really awesome study. It is called An Environmental Approach to Positive Emotion: Flowers and was conducted by a Evolutionary Psychology team from Rutgers- The State University of New Jersey, back in 2005.
The opening line of the Abstract for this study is as follows:
"For more than 5000 years, people have cultivated flowers although there is no known reward for this costly behavior."
I sat here trying to think of any purpose (other than making people happy) and all I could think about was the bees. The bees need pollen to produce honey. Pollen comes from flowers. Bees help the flowers to reproduce. Flowers are plants. We get our oxygen from plants. But we aren't talking about plants, just the sub-category: Flowers. But are bees only here for the flowers? Or are the flowers there for the bees? The inner rambles of my mind are unlimited (sometimes). Thankfully we have Google for moments like this.
Back to the study...Here is a summary of their research findings that I read on the About Flowers website:
"A team of researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants' behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers. The results show that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods."
- Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed "true" or "excited" smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
- Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
- Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.
The only way that I could see a person NOT loving flowers is if they have allergies. And even still, there's a Visine for that! There is totally no excuse not to love them. I even have a slight complex with bumble bees and bugs, but I still love flowers!
You should go get some for your table right now. The lilac trees are blooming this week here in my yard. Check out the view I have from my writing space. Isn't it lovely?
Go pick some from your tree and bring them into the house for your table. If you don't have a tree, go on a stealth mission and "borrow" some from your neighbors yard. I am sure they won't mind. Wildflowers will be covering the sides of the road soon too. Even though they don't last as long as the cultivated bouquets, they will still do the trick to bring you some joy. I promise. Won't hurt to try, right?
So, I thought I would end off my first Oh Happy Day post with a little story about my Pumpkin.
The other day, she was wondering around a field of dandelions (which yes, I know are really weeds, but to us they are still flowers) and got really scared by a few roaming bees. They seem to be out in full force this week. She is a bug hater from way back (she gets that from me). But do you think that deterred her from picking her dandelions? Oh no, she just ran away, then ran right back. Ran away, then ran right back for more. She wouldn't stop picking those dandelions, despite her fears. It's almost as if she knew that picking them was going to be completely worth the risk of getting attacked by that bee. She was right.Which leads me to the most happy part about flowers.
The presentation of a squished bouquet of dandelions. Accompanied by that smile.
I get one nearly every time we leave the house and I love them every time, with all my heart. We have the greenest lawn on our block because Pumpkin is the Dandelion Queen! I think she takes after her Mama. I completely expect to receive bouquets full of happiness from her for years to come, because it makes her just as happy as it makes me. Just look at that smile.