"WHY is the world so beautiful?"

Jessica Neafsey


This is a question that Robin Wall Kimmerer pursues as a bryologist (an expert in moss), and a Potawatomi woman, and believes is a question we all should be embracing...  In her recent On Being interview with Krista Tippet, Robin expounded on her life experience of close observation of the natural world, and a revelatory inspiration she felt through her longing to understand why New England asters and goldenrod look so stunning together, as they frequently grow alongside one another in prairie landscapes.  The complementary purple and yellow flowers attract more pollinators than a single color of flower would, but is there more to it than a biophysical explanation?  Michael Pollan also explored the evolutionary advantages of beauty and sensuality in his well-known book the Botany of Desire... I am inspired to dive deeper in wondering why that which strikes me as beautiful, does so.  I have always felt responsible to reflect back whatever beauty enriches my life -- it has a way of asking for it. As Robin puts it:    ..."beauty asks me for reciprocity, to be the complimentary color, to make something beautiful in response.”