Grand designs


No matter how I tried, the damaged camera would not focus on the tiny pyramid… which was a shame, because its structure was incredible. It is nothing unusual, just a crystal of sea-salt, but the precision with which it was formed for some reason struck me as mind-blowing.

It is a thing of beauty. Each line and angle ordered after some complex design we can only observe, not decipher. Billions of trillions of these amazing structures are formed  and consumed… and we barely notice them.

The cat, incurably curious, came to see what I was doing and I marvelled at her design… absolutely lithe and flexible, able to move in ways we would find impossible. I played with her, watching how she uses that litheness to become a dead weight. Cats are not heavy… yet she can chase and fight a piece of string whilst laying on the floor, utterly relaxed and therefore difficult to move. Her very relaxation acts in a way that seems to make deliberate use of gravity to enhance her skills.

Once you start looking, you cannot help but notice…and it doesn’t matter if it is an eagle or an earthworm… that the design of every living thing, every element of nature, is magnificent… including our own.

To try to photograph the salt crystal, I placed it on the black surface of the table in which the leaves of a plant were reflected. I remembered studying plants at school and seeing their incredible structure under the microscope, learning how the parts of the plant worked together to turn sunlight into the fuel for growth through photosynthesis. I remember being amazed even then at the perfection of the design. Even more so when we learned how plant and animal life seemed designed to work together in perfect harmony… the vegetation breathing out what we need to breathe in and vice versa.

Their bodies nourish us and, when we have finished with our own bodies, nature would use them to nourish her garden. It is a simple thing, something we all know but yet it is taken for granted and therefore overlooked as we move through the world and go about our daily business.

All organisms are made of cells, simple building blocks that will eventually develop into the specialised parts of a greater organic ‘machine’ that work together, be that plant or animal. I recalled a conversation with my then-teenage sons about whether we could merely be cells  forming  the body of greater organism, something we could not see and would call a god. The cells would not know their purpose, or even the nature of the being they were part of…but they would perform the specialised function for which they were designed. My sons took it one step further and wondered if the gods themselves were no more than the cells of an even greater being… it was a good conversation.

‘Interconnectedness’, ‘balance’ and ‘harmony’ are buzz words in spiritual circles and with good reason it seems. We have only to look at how the physical world works to see how the same concepts might apply at a non-physical level. Without speculating on the nature of divinity, by looking at these grand designs from the cellular level to the complex organisms that they form, we might begin to see the divinity of nature. Even our own.

27 thoughts on “Grand designs

  1. So interesting how many people are writing about cells today. This is the second post I’ve read with the theme and I woke at 3am with my mind writing about cellular memory in my head. Now I’m trying to compile it into a post. Should have just done it at 3am when it was already freshly written in my mind. So tired now I can barely think 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It is mind boggling. I often think of Wilson Bentley who was the first to photograph snowflakes. Can you imagine how intense that must have been? Then the world saw that each one was unique. Much like your crystals. Where would science be without photography?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Interesting to think of ourselves as cells that make up a God. Just talking with my husband about cellular memory and the possibility of remembering being in the womb or even the event called conception. Used to be quite sure that was true.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Someone once said, “that you could see the world in a grain of sand”. With macro photography, these days we can see so much more… I love the idea that we are all most definitely part of something beyond our imagination…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A post to make us think, Sue. Going off on a slight tangent, have you read the various reports on how scientists are using salmonella bugs as a potential cancer cure? It’s made me think about how everything has a purpose.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, I haven’t seen those…but I shall wander off and look them up shortly. I do think there is a purpose in every pat of Nature…even if we haven’t found it yet. Though I am still not sure about mosquitoes 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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