Mind the Spirals

Nature is full of patterns, and spirals are one of my favorites. Spring is a wonderful time to look for and observe spirals in nature as new life emerges and unfurls.

I recently saw this woodland snail venture out after a long rain. What a tiny wonder to marvel at.

Spirals can also be found in seashells, pinecones, sunflowers, and fiddlehead ferns. In plants and flowers, the spiral shape allows them to maximize space and sunlight.

Spirals may symbolize harmony, rhythms and cycles, and expansion and contraction. Offering a unique wisdom, spirals can also inform and inspire our self care practices.

Mindfulness with Spirals

Looking for and observing spirals in nature can be a wonderful mindful practice. These are additional ways to mindfully connect with nature’s spirals:

~ Trace a spiral with your finger onto the palm of your hand…Notice how it feels….

~ Trace a spiral in sand or soil.

~ Be a fiddlehead fern: Use your pointer finger to slowly open (breathing in) and close (breathing out) like a fiddlehead fern. Or, use your whole self to curl up and unfurl as you breathe in and out.

Spiral Art Invitations

You may want to explore spirals further through art making:

~ Draw or paint a spiral. (Cutting along the spiral line will add a kinetic quality and movement.)

~ Arrange nature materials such as shells, leaves, or flowers to create a spiral shape.

~ Create a spiral using clay or salt dough.

~ Write a poem in the form of a spiral.

For Reflection

~ Which spiral in nature do you most identify with?

~ Where may you need to expand or contract?

~ Do you need shelter and stillness as in a snail shell, or growth and unfurling as in a fiddlehead fern?

For Further Exploration

For mathematicians: Spirals and the Fibonacci Ratio

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman (A beautiful picture book.)

“Growth is a spiral process, doubling back on itself, reassessing and regrouping.”
~ Julia Margaret Cameron ~