I received an email from a friend today following up on a conversation we’ve been having about circles in general but particularly “found” circles in nature. She sent me a picture of some roots she had found in a green waste pile and wrote "roots of the Enso Circle?"
Photo by Bosha Struve
And then she followed it up with this photo of a circle of bull kelp that a friend of hers fished out of the surf (she lives in the Northwest):
I sent back a photo that I took this morning of a burned-out tree stump:
Looking for patterns in nature, or just noticing them when you see them is so typical of creative people. Circles, of course, have significant magic and meaning attached to them since pre-history and are often perceiving as powerful and profound symbols.
The ancient Greeks saw the circle as a symbol of infinity and unity. The geometric perfection of the circle represented the idea of a complete, unbroken whole. This concept was also associated with the Greek concept of "monas," or the source of all things. The Mandala, a circular symbol, holds spiritual significance in Hinduism and Buddhism. It represents the universe and the idea that everything is interconnected. By meditating on mandalas, practitioners sought to connect with the divine and attain inner peace and enlightenment. And in Native American cultures, the Medicine Wheel is a circular symbol representing the balance of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life. It was used for protection and to promote healing and harmony within the community.
One of the things that Michelle and I love about the Enso circle is that it is typically not a perfectly closed circle; it may have a slight opening or gap. This imperfection is deliberate and symbolizes the imperfection and incompleteness of all things in life. It encourages practitioners to accept and embrace the flaws and uncertainties of existence.
It's not a bad idea to start you day with an eye to finding certain patterns as you go through you daily routine - look for three lines together, or the first letter of your name - or circles! Observation, appreciation, serendipity are all parts of exercising our creative intuition.
Here is a site that explores how children learn from nature and its shapes and numbers - I love the concept, and the exercises are fun!
Thanks for reading Inside the Enso! Send us your comments and your circles!