Spring is a season of cliches and love — bees snuggle into flower pollen, birds open their breasts wide for a song, rabbits rub noses like tiny pink erasers across a sheet of paper, a pair of hawks wing and dance across the sky over our neighborhood, weddings are being planned, and the light livens and lifts winter blues. It is a fetching time of year of new beginnings and an urgency for love.
If you’re a scientist though, the lovesickness can be blamed on one very real thing. “It’s dopamine,” says Helen Fischer, a neuroscientist, professor at Rutgers University, and author of five books on the science of love. Fisher says dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical your brain uses to make you want things. There are other systems involved in love, but when it comes to new love, dopamine is the main culprit. And with enough of it swirling around your system, you’re prone to fall in love — and fall hard.
Spring unpacks color, fresh smells from bursting flowers and foliage, and people shed layers of their clothes wearing brighter fabrics, exposing more of themselves. They unknowingly embrace this season of renewal.
Every April your brain unwittingly becomes a dopamine factory, turning you into a love junkie. Brain scans of people flooded with the stuff look a lot like brain scans of drug addicts. This makes sense, since being high on dopamine feels, as many lovers would put it, euphoric.
Then there is Molly Shannon’s character in Superstar obsessing for her first kiss; endless songs and poems have been written of spring, longing, desire, and recognition through a first kiss. Here is a simple stanza from Wadsworth Lines Written in Early Spring –
The birds around me hopped and played:
Their thoughts I cannot measure,
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
What is your pleasure of spring and a memory of your first kiss? Was it in this month of April, which symbolizes ‘to open’? Spring is abundant in its offerings, a delight to the senses, a gift to move forward and renovate our awareness and mental balance…a time to feel love.