I was out walking with my husband and his brother in New Orleans; we were in a park, tucked in between the Cathedral and the Cafe du Monde, and I had just paused to take their picture beside this plant with huge leaves.
They were already moving on when I spotted this lovely purple fantasia in the plant I'd used as a backdrop. Isn't it glorious? Not exactly a burning bush, but I did have to turn aside to explore it -- and there was no way, once I'd seen it, that I could walk past it without photographing it.
What I don't understand is why it's so satisfying to me. Is it because it's so exotic and unfamiliar? Is it those glorious colors? Or is it the way each piece of the plant seems designed to curl protectively around those bright and curious dancers in the middle?
Do I need to know the answer? Probably not; I suspect it's enough to notice and respond from some non-cognitive space deep within. Perhaps it captures me because I don't have a name for it -- we humans do have a way of dismissing things when we name them. "What's that?" "Oh, it's just a table -- or a kingfisher, calling to his mate, or a homeless man sleeping under a blanket in the parking lot." But until we name it, we're curious. Wouldn't it be great if we could keep that curiosity?