During a hike about a week ago, I was sad to see that most of the vegetation was dying off with the approach of winter. But, as always, the desert did not disappoint in its ability to produce life amid the most difficult of circumstances (We’ve had no rain, and the unseasonably warm weather – still in the 80s and 90s – has confused many of our dormant bushes into flowering again).
To my surprise, we were greeted by a green vine that produced fuzzy, hairy seed balls. Unlike any plant I’ve ever seen, they sparkled like snowflakes, their billowy tufts dancing in the wind. Maybe I drew this comparison because the sun actually didn’t come out that day, and the clouds drooping so low above us were reminiscent of the Pennsylvania snow clouds of my youth?
For the longest time, I didn’t know what the vine was, but stumbled upon it in my Audubon book. I felt I had to share the stark beauty of the Western White Virgin’s Bower, which produces a lovely white flower before showing off its Muppet Hair.
For Writers: Do you think writers see the world differently? It struck me that maybe we do, because my immediate response, when I saw the hairy vines, was, “Muppet Hair!” Who knows why things fly out of my mouth as quickly as they do, but it just happens. Frequently and without warning.
And I think, maybe, this is part of being a creative writer. We see things and immediately draw connections, make associations and envision parallels that others might not? That ‘unique’ insight is part of what allows us to paint realistic sensory descriptions with our words. It’s part of what allows us to transport our readers to different worlds.
What do you think? Do we writers see the world through different-colored lenses? Where I saw snowflakes and Muppet hair, did you see something else in the photos? Can you think of times when you experienced or saw something differently than the person next to you? Please share!