From the Tidepool to the Stars

One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the . . . marvelous structure of reality.  — Albert Einstein

A handsome dragonfly–a widow skimmer, I believe–is gracing my garden these days.  It has been much too quick for me and my camera; dragonflies are such excellent fliers that aviation engineers research them hoping to glean ideas for improving aircraft.

We humans copy many of nature’s patterns, both purposely and accidentally, I’m sure; notice the rotational symmetry demonstrated in the following cosmos bloom and in our vintage aermotor windmill.

cosmos bloom

aermotor windmill

Sometimes nature seems to have enjoyed a specific design so much that it crafted visual echoes of its own.

I can almost feel the remembered touch of my childhood companion, a pet lamb named Woolybritches, when I see this lamb’s ear leaf in the garden:

Lamb's Ear

And this bat-faced cuphea bloom on the opposite side of the yard brings a smile to my face as I compare its visage to those of the Mexican free-tailed bats which populate our Texas hill country during the summer and prevent our having a mosquito problem:


But, along with Einstein (pretty good company, no?),  I also find awe in other organic forms which nature repeats.  One pattern that particularly inspires wonder for me is the spiral repeated in nautilus shells, in some galaxies, and in cyclones.

So when I buy an organic romanesco cauliflower, as pictured at top, I often think of more than its delicious flavor.  Its own spirals remind me of John Steinbeck’s thoughts on nature’s repetitions, penned in The Log of the Sea of Cortez:

 . . . all things are one thing and one thing is all things–plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together . . . it is advisable to look from the tidepool to the stars and then back to the tidepool again.

I like remembering that all is bound together.

*                        *                        *                          *

You can read, if so inclined, a bit about nature’s patterns on Wikipedia:

Writing Practice:

Complete the following:  One cannot help but be in awe when _________________ .

What reminds you that “all is bound together”?

8 thoughts on “From the Tidepool to the Stars

  1. Chris, remarkable photographs accompany this piece. Very nice. I am going show your blog to my daughter. She is a writer and photographer as well.

    • Thank you so much, Sue. It makes me happy that you’re reading and commenting, and I’d so love it if your daughter would as well. I’d love to hear her thoughts. Win The Day, Dear Friend. 🙂

  2. What a wonderful word: tidepool. This will be my word of the week. Conjuring salt and stars and everything in between. Thank you Chris.


  3. how lovely to be reminded to look for copies of nature’s patterns, and to make connections, one of my favorite things to do!

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