logarithmic spiraling, like love

Nature exhibits repeated patterns. There are spheres like bubbles and all manner of symmetry that allow the simplification of genomes. Lines, fractals and waves add to the building blocks of nature. My favorite natural shape is the logarithmic spiral. In nature, many of these spirals are based on something called the Fibonacci sequence in which each number in the series is the sum of the two preceding numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, etc. Graphically, the Fibonacci sequence creates spirals that look like this:

Fibonacci_spiral_34.svg

Fibonacci and logarithmic spirals are fascinating both for their ubiquitousness in nature and their intrinsic beauty. These spirals are found in…

Large energy systems like hurricanes;

logarithmic spiral hurricane

structures in plants, including sunflowers, pine cones, pineapples, strawberries…Sunflower Helianthus_whorl

including succulent plants;

Aloe_polyphylla_spiral

immense structures of the universe like spiral galaxies;

spiral galaxy-Messier51_sRGB

and in molluscs where the expanding spiral of the hard shell allows the organism to grow without the need to change shape.

mollusc Trochoidea_liebetruti_(Albers,_1852)_(4308584755)

I admit being lured into evenings of appreciating these patterns with awe. There’s more to the shared pattern of micro and macro and the giddy glory of nature continually re-inventing an amazingly elegant and energy-minimizing shape based on understandable math. There’s more to it than nature using it everywhere as the solution to widely varied problems.

A pattern in which each number in the series is the sum of the two previous numbers also has abstract relevance as well. The gift of giving yields a return that feels like a logarithmic event. Give and it returns to you many times over.

Love expands as it grows, from little starting input. Summing 1 and 1 and spirally to infinity. Love is logarithmic, reaching out, growing with us as we change over time, although the difference is that love causes profound change with growth. The concept is multi-leveled, both simple at a glance and complex the deeper you go. Love can be seen from the smallest to the largest places we look, and perseveres under broad conditions. And is so, so beautiful.

Take these symbols around us as universal reminders of how nature finds good things and repeats them, some of which can be understood metaphorically, and how we, as a part of nature, are intimately connected to everything.

all images from Wikipedia

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4 thoughts on “logarithmic spiraling, like love

  1. I love you for this! Perhaps I should share with you some of my art. If you love spirals (and this is how deeply you think / feel about them), I guess you might like what I do – a little bit.

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