A pinwheel by definition is “a child’s toy consisting of a stick with colored vanes that twirl in the wind”. They can be found across the globe. Parades and birthday parties are among the most popular places to find them. They are whimsical, fascinating to watch, and just plain fun. Their simplicity is partly what makes them so enjoyable…they can be made from paper and plastic or we can buy one for a small amount of money. A simple rush of wind is all it takes to make them spin. Yet, they are still popular after centuries of playful use!
This is nature’s pinwheel. Actually, one of many such flowers with this type of configuration. This is a Vinca flower which grows from a vine and is actually a ground covering. Simple, but lovely. I am always amazed as I witness something from nature which has been copied or imitated by man. Think of planes and birds, for instance. One cannot escape the resemblance nor the actual physics of both.
We, as humans, strive to become more intelligent and better than the generation before. We are on a constant quest to develop technologies which advance whatever field they may be in. This is natural, I suppose, however, let us not forget who is the Original Designer of all that is beautiful…God. To imitate Him is the supreme compliment.
Let us not forget this fact in our hast to rush ahead to the next ‘discovery’ or ‘cure’. Man is always a step behind. This is better than not being in line at all, though. I certainly am grateful that He allows us to explore His creation for the betterment of mankind. Enjoy the simplicity as well as the complexity of this world we have been given to protect and magnify. And, guard against those who would manipulate His creation for evil intent.
This is a blown glass sculpture suspended from the main lobby ceiling of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The famous American blown glass maker, Dale Chihuly, created this masterpiece entitled Fiori di Como. This photo doesn’t really convey the scale or intricacies of this work of art. One could stare at this sculpture for hours and still not capture all of it.
According to blog.lofty.com, here is a brief description of the sculpture: “Weighing in at 40,000 pounds, Fiori di Como is one of Chihuly’s largest, and most popular glass sculptures. The piece, located at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, is made up of about 2,000 pieces of hand-blown glass and covers approximately 2,000 square feet of the hotel ceiling. To create the massive installation, Chihuly employed a team of more than 100 professionals, including glassblowers, architects, engineers, shippers, installers and fabricators.” I recall reading an article about this particular sculpture which is valued at several million dollars. It took many months to install.
The reason for this post is two-fold. First, the blown glass reminds me of Spring which is generally associated with outdoors, yet the colors and shapes mimic some of nature’s most pleasant and unique features. Secondly, this art reveals the genius of man and the beauty he is capable of creating. Both are not by accident, but by Divine Design. Too often we are reminded of man’s ugly side and are told of God’s nonexistence or lack of concern for His children. Yet, we humans are his crowning achievement-warts and all. So, I am encouraged to exercise my creativity, and rejoice in His creation. And, I am pleased to join you in this endeavor, however minimal my contribution may be.
I wonder how many hours and days it has taken this hawk to learn the art of graceful flight. To land atop a pole which provides the best vantage point for searching out prey is instinctive behavior. But, to land correctly, balance in the wind, and turn this way and that takes practice. And, practice takes time.I wonder what the reason was for this bird of prey to suddenly stand erect, then tilt forward in preparation for flight? Did he see something he wanted or did he not see the prize and decided to move to another location which offered a better view? Or, did he simply become bored? Do birds get bored, anyway? Do they think or merely act as a result of their genetic code? One fact we know is they have great eyesight and lightning fast reflexes.I wonder if the hawk’s decision to vault off the pole arose purely from instinct or was it a conscious decision? Like a sprinter leaving the starting blocks in a race so this predator leaped from his perch-wings fully outstretched-to swoop down and then rise up again to his next destination. Is there something going on besides the obvious? Nature moves in rhythm: the moon waxes and wanes, the tides go in and out, the sun rises and sets…constantly repeating the same cycles over and over again. I have noticed most, if not all, created life has cyclical aspects to it. Animals do. Birds and fish and insects do. Plants and trees do. And, people do. In many ways we are no different than the rest of God’s creation. However, there is something that sets us apart-something wonderful. It is more than just our souls, because all of God’s creatures must have some sort of soul (at least animals!), although they differ from mans’. We were created in God’s image while the animal kingdom was a created entity which was to be cared for by people. To me, the wondrous difference is that we have been given the ability to enjoy a personal relationship with our Creator! Shaky theology, you say? Perhaps. One day I will know for sure, and hopefully you will, too. In the meantime, I will try to keep my spirit flying as high as I possibly can. I do admit there are times when this can be very difficult. I think wings would help…a lot.
Yesterday morning’s routine was like any other Monday with the exception of this photograph. The difference is simple. Rather than look at the sky and crane and piers, I stopped and shot a photograph of them. Most likely, it won’t win any prize, but I found the image captivating; nature’s beauty with her array of colors and swirls as a background for the projections of steel sprouting up from the earth like trees. God and Man…genius and ingenuity… creator and created. Some see a disparity between the two, but I see unity. Soon, a hotel and convention center will replace the crane. Then, the piers won’t be visible, nor will the rest of the foundation system. However, without these unseen supports this structure could not stand. All of this is rather similar to our existence and God’s foundation of eternal influence and grace; without these man and his civilizations would quickly crumble. As the old saying goes, you can’t always judge a book by its cover, and in this comparison, one can’t experience our reality without the unseen foundation of God’s love for His creation. So, enjoy what we’ve been given even if it is only a glimpse of the sky or the possibility of a vacation in a luxury hotel.