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I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
I’m standing looking at the water coming ashore. Ahhhh … the water feels good. Looking down, I see the bubbles around my feet before the water retreats to the sea – which got me thinking about a topic for my walk. No – not bubbles – so I’ve already done that walk – so today is about circles.
Circles are both a noun and a verb – but I’m thinking about the noun – those round figures with a boundary that is equal distance from a fixed center point. As I look around, it hits me that circles are two-dimensional while spheres are the three-dimensional equivalent.
Circles are a simple, closed curve creating a boundary – a boundary placing something either within or outside. Circles are geometric figures we link to a proportional arrangement among radius, diameter, and circumference with Pi being a common character. Pi itself is a ratio of the circle’s circumference to its diameter. Circles are also associated with terms, such as arc, center, chord, sector, segment, secant, semicircle, and tangent.
Circles are symmetrical and either drawn with a compass or commonly traced with a round object such as a lid, jar, can, coin, or rim of a glass. Today we electronically insert circles, then reshape them to size.
I think about the circles that I see here as I walk – the eyes of fish, the great blue heron, and crabs; the body of a jellyfish washed ashore, and sand dollars lying on the sand. Although few, some buildings may have several round windows.
I look to the sky to realize its two great lights are circles – the masculine power of the sun and the maternal protection of the moon. Although clouds aren’t circles, I occasionally see a hole in the clouds as a circle.
I think about rainbows as a section of a circle – an arc – but, I have seen a circle rainbow. The night sky is the backdrop for the twinkling lights of stars that are circles, although we commonly draw them with five points.
Humanity has a long history of conveying messages through circles for sacred, spiritual, and divine. Circles represent concepts; such as balance, completeness, divinity, equality, entity, infinity, perfection, potential, stability, totality, unity, and wholeness.
Gathering around a fire in a circle also has a long history – gatherings for cooking, protection, spirituality, and social – times to tell stories, share traditions, or just talk. Years ago, humans arranged the stones of Stonehenge in a circle. Today, a circle in a meeting allows more eye contact while encouraging participants to share thoughts, ideas, and emotions.
I think about circles today – circles on process flow charts representing data, but uncertain outcomes on a decision tree, a person on a family tree, or simply a representative placeholder. Interlocking circles of a Venn diagram illustrating similarities and differences. Circles may also be a central idea on a mind map or related ideas on a concept map.
In life, circles are something round such as balls, beads, buttons, clocks, coins, cookies, disks, hoops, knobs, onion rings, oranges, pies, plant stems, rings, smiley faces, tires, wheels, wreaths, and more.
Cylinders are also round -but when we cross-cut a cylinder, we see a circle at the cut. Think cutting a hotdog, pipe, banana, cucumber, a roll of cookie dough, and more. Jars, cans, bottles, glasses, and cups are commonly used cylinders with circled edges.
Thinking of cylinders reminds me of the objects people bring to the beach: The tubular frames of the beach chairs and the poles for umbrellas, holders for fishing rods and reels, and their equipment carts with wheels.
I think about how a circle is a component of our numbering system. To us, zero has a value of none, nothing, naught, nada, zippo, and zilch. However, placing other digits to the left of the zero will drastically change the value. Six and nine also include a circle, but let us not forget that two circles compose eight.
I think about tossing a rock into the water – seeing the ringed ripples going away from the splash point. That is not as evident here compared to tossing a rock into a lake or pond.
I think about two forces involved with objects moving in a circular motion. One force is an inward force directing toward the center that keeps an object moving in the circular path. The other force directing outward desiring to leave the circular path in a straight line. I relate that to swinging a ball attached to a strong string, then suddenly releasing the string as an attempt to hit a target. Yes, centripetal and centrifugal forces involve circles.
While Yin and Yang are enclosed together in the same circle, I think about the verb version of circle. Terms such as circles circled and circling. The equator, Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, plus the polar circles in the north and the south are special designations going around our spherical planet – as are longitudes and latitudes. All are nouns also involved in acting as a verb.
I think about circles as repeating cycles, especially those in nature – such as the movement of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and water as they cycle through nature. I include the seasons, tides, waves, and the sun and moon following a repeating pattern.
Members of an inner circle can run around in circles, circle the wagons, circle the drain, turn full circle, be trapped in a vicious circle, and even go full circle. Because I’ve run circles around this topic, it’s time to end the circling adventure – even though I could have included more about crop circles, magic circles, and traffic circles.
It’s time to end rotating around the topic of circles – but circles have been a fun companion during my walk. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
See what other bloggers have posted about Circles
- The Circles of My Life (essay and photos)
- Circle of Love (a poem)
- Circles (a personal essay)
- The Circle of Time (a poem)
- Going in Circles (an essay about art)
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