I’m reading the most fascinating book, The Nature Fix, by Florence Williams. I’ll fully review the book once I’ve finished it, but so far it’s wonderful. It’s different from other “get out into nature” books in that there is a lot of really interesting new science (or at least new to me) that I find completely enlightening and thought-provoking. There is the chapter on soundscapes, during which stress can be linked to a certain decibel common in big cities and near airports, then the chapter about fractals and their visual appeal to humans – even a section about art and how Jackson Pollock painted nature’s fractals twenty-five years ahead of their scientific discovery (p. 113)!
Also within this chapter, Box of Rain, is the discussion of fluent visual processing, our preferences for certain shapes and saturation, and the affect color has on our brains. This is nothing new; I remember learning, as a child, that warm colors like red and orange were more likely to excite and agitate, and that cool colors like blue and green had a relaxing effect. “The human eye is well designed to respond immediately to color,” writes Williams.
What I found so fascinating was that the reason we are so relaxed and calmed by green and blue is because we’ve learned to associate these colors with “life-giving, healthy ecosystems full of plants (green), clean water (blue) and expansive reflection (sky azures, ocean teals).” Williams continues, “Since we all live under that sky and drink its offerings, these hues may instill feelings of universality and shared humanity.”
I look around our house, at the deep blue dining room that we painted immediately upon moving in over 7 years ago, at the hosta-green room I’ve just repainted from green to a slightly deeper green, at the plants that I’m so drawn to, with new appreciation. It’s amazing how nature affects us, even when indoors.
I hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday, the last day of February!