There is some simple awe in the patterns found in nature.
How is it that such a strong emotional response to beauty can arise when we see the repetition of natures forms? Seeing the crests of mountain ridges, or the light dancing on leaves in trees, or the way that the water leaves traces of its path along the sand? There is an ebb and flow molded by the elements, signed directly by Mother Earth and layered over time. Affina draws from these energetic imprints; the sea's vast reservoirs, or the Earth's expansive landscapes.
Nature's signature is a timestamp of individual moments that once moved with the breath of life; a snapshot or freeze frame of a particular position in time and space. When we see these still images, part of our most primal being begins to trace the flow of waves of energy, timeless as the tides. Branching, spiraling, layering... alive and ever-evolving, they draw us in - appealing to our sense of wonder. Some part of us knows that we have come from these subtle impressions, and we may for a second remember what it is like to be in that place outside of our identity. Staring into the sea, or watching creatures move through forest branches as fleeting shapes and color taps us into something timeless; we forget ourselves, we become, or rather remember, that we are not separate from that which we observe.
Therein, lies the overwhelming awe and beauty of nature. This is why it can touch so deeply into our own hearts. Forces, alive with spirit, eons in the making, have finally given birth to this human creature that can observe and revere the very power that created it.
Nature's recurring growth patterns have been studied for centuries. Early Greek Philosophers, like Plato, studied them in an attempt to explain order in nature. Pliny, the most recognized natural philosopher, believed by observing nature one could gain inner tranquility. It is clear to see that it is so. We are a part of this dance, ever flowing. While we may lose sight of this to the turbulence of our own thoughts as we navigate the world, finding solace from it all is as easy as stepping back into the stream, hearing the trickle of water on stones carved by centuries of cascading falls.
Our minds, our cognition, and our ability to think and understand have all been crafted by this same agency, which is why it is no surprise that mathematicians, physicists and biologists seek to explain and model many naturally occurring shapes, like fractals and the Fibonacci spiral. We hope that if we can crack this code, we might learn about who we really are. Eco-Psychologists believe the human mind is instinctively inspired and comforted by nature because that is the arena in which it originally evolved, and it is no secret that our own anatomy follows these same rhythms.
While in the West, we have sought to understand Mother Earth critically and with reason, Eastern philosophies are deeply rooted in ancient beliefs in the harmony between man, the soul and nature. The ancients believed that the experience of sacred geometry was essential to the education of the soul. Native Americans belief all living things are imbued with spirit, and this is evident in their ceremony, song, and timeless reverence and protection of the environment.
Really, when we stop to think about it, the answer has been in front of us all along. It doesn't take more than a moment of quiet contemplation in your favorite forest or ocean cove to realize that we are a part of this vibration of movement and form. It calls to us from a place that is beyond reason, it moves us at the core, and reminds us of the way home.
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