I've been in the #Bookstagram community for a couple of years now. In that time I've learned that most (if not all) book lovers and writers have a bit of a love affair with spring and summer. This time of year has inspired so many beautiful books, writings and poems, really since the beginning of literature itself. And many of these tend to revolve around the theme of love and romance.
Why though, is this so prevalent? It's not as if lovers all of a sudden feel more in love the moment the snow starts melting. It's not like there's some love potion that leaks into the air once April hits. Except, that's exactly what happens.
Not the love potion, that's a pipe dream. But there is an unproven scientific theory that the spring and summer seasons cause more people to fall in love and/or have romantic feelings more than any other season of the year. Unsurprisingly, there are many facts to back up this theory.
According to a 2010 article on MPR News, Neuroscientist Helen Fischer claims dopamine to be the underlying reason:
" there's so much novelty in the spring," said Fischer. "There is so much more color, new smells[...] and so there is a lot of new stimuli that trigger the brain and drive up dopamine, and make you more susceptible to love."
Not only do the warmer months induce more positive emotion, but they also result in more creativity. According to MentalFloss.com, a 2016 study by the University of Michigan found that
"Spending time outside in the sunny spring weather isn't just a mood booster, it actually can change the way people think. The researchers found that being outdoors broadened participants' minds, leaving them more open to new information and creative thoughts."
So, what do these two facts have to do with the literature we read and write? Surely we've all read books based and/or written during the colder months that included romance, and still came away with feelings of inspiration and love. However, speaking from personal experience, I believe writings from and based during colder months exude clashing levels of these emotions, and the creativity felt when writing/reading them.
As a writer, springtime is when I thrive. It's the time when I feel most connected to my novels heroine, I gain inspiration from nature on poetic levels, and the warmer months ignite such a positive flame in me that it's actually more difficult to write about sad things as opposed to happy ones.
It's my belief that spring is the season for creators. It gives us so much more to work with, and so much scope for the imagination. I don't know where myself and my descriptive prose would be without wildflowers, sunsets, tall grass fields, or the glorious tree leaves that transform right in front of your eyes. This time of year brings out the romantic in most people, but for creators, it's like we're being let out of a cage.
It's no wonder writers such as L.M Montgomery had such vivid love affairs with spring. I talked about this a bit in my Anne of Avonlea article, but Anne Shirley is basically the personification of spring. And I don't believe that's by accident. Both she and her romance with Gilbert contain deeply woven themes of spring. You can barely read a passage of them together without L.M.M describing the natural world about them, and usually, those descriptions take place in spring and summer.
I think I'm not alone in immediately associating romance in writing with spring. Love is after all, a bloom all it's own. It plants a seed, builds strength at the outset in order to support it's beauty, and then eventually blooms into something indescribably wonderful and glorious. And flowers, like the truly great romances of literature, don't need pomp and frill to be beautiful. They, like characters in a love story, just need to placed in a spot where they will stand out, amidst the ordinary and resplendent.
What do you think of this concept? Do you find the literature you read and write during spring feels more romantic? Let me know in the comments below!