112 – Circles

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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.

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Anni Roenkae on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

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

Next Post: Heart – Saturday 12th February @ 1 AM (Eastern US)


88 thoughts on “112 – Circles”

  1. Traffic circles…now that is a subject hubby could lecture on, being a traffic engineer…and the wheels on the bus go round and round! That was a fave of our sons back in the day.
    I am not sure if you mentioned it, but we are in a sort of circular orbit…elliptical I think. And the rings of Saturn are very elegant circles.
    Our dogs get treats that are in a circular shape, LOL!!
    How about the igloos Eskimos make for themselves. Good use of a circular form. and so are yurts! There was a church in Halifax, NS that was circular, to keep the devil from cornering anyone presumably.
    My dad had a sundial, it was made of several metal rings around a central ‘spine’ which cast the sun shadow to tell the time.
    Tying knots requires moving the rope/string in a circle/coil and putting another circle of rope through it…coils that is, brought together to make the knot.
    If you watch peeps clean their windows or cars they might do so in a circular fashion.
    In music there is ‘The Circle of Fifths’ which is a way to know things about harmony and key signatures.
    I was telling my dog to rollover, which is him forming a circle on the floor with his body, and then I tell him to ‘come round…so he circles around me and sits in front of me for his round treat. LOL!!
    My head is now spinning around and around in a circle, dizzyingly…so I had best stop. I surely am a bit cuckoo…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Videos are so clever these days, aren’t they? You must watch hundreds, Frank! Looking at the circular foods I’m reminded that eating at a circular table is the most congenial with a group of friends. You can talk to and smile at everyone then. Hope your week is going well.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reminds me of a song, Windmills of your MInd, originally sung by Noel Harrison for the movie The Thomas Crown Affair, but also a better (IMHO) rendition by Dusty Springfield.
    ‘Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
    Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel
    As the images unwind, like the circles that you find
    In the windmills of your mind!’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cincy,

    First things last, that there is the perfect video for the subject matter.

    Circle the date . . .Sunday the 13th. Big game. Biggest in decades.

    Among the circles I love to see . . . pizza, donuts, cool rings, the sun on a particularly cold day whilst running, marbles because they always remind me of how transfixed I was by them in my childhood, quarters that I use to grab a shopping cart when I go to Aldi’s for groceries because there’s usually a kitschy little feel good moment when I am returning the cart and someone offers me a quarter and I wave them off. . .

    The circles me no likey so much include circular saws, eesh . . . the round and round the Dolphins do with first time head coaches and here’s hoping they give the new guy some time . . . the rings on my furniture when the kids wouldn’t use a coaster . . .

    Great post, Cincy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc,
      Glad you enjoyed the video. I put a lot of effort in trying to pick the right one to close the walk, so I always appreciate those who give me feedback. Great list of circles you love. There so many! One of my favorites is the red stained end of a wine cork! Meanwhile, I hope for good things this Sunday! Meanwhile, a coaching carousel is never a good sign.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A lot of circles to think about, Frank! I like The Circle Game, too. And the way that circles are endless, unless broken. For Rosh Hashanah I bake a round challah instead of the usual braided loaf to symbolize the start and end of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m eager to get back in my workshop, Frank. I’m thinking of saw blades, dust collection hoses, drill bits and the holes the make, sanding pads, fans to move the air and wheels to move heavy things in and out of place. Thanks for inspiring these thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So many ways to use the word “circle.” Noun, verb, sacred, waste of time, aggression, coming back to where you started. Circle of friends even has an exclusionary aspect. My friends but not yours. The word “circle” sure does a lot of work. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie,
      Circle is big in our lives – and probably more than we realize. Circle of friends is an interesting thought because within one’s circle, there are smaller circles – for me, friends from dance, church, neighbors, work, snowbirding, and blogging to name a few … and very few people are in multiple circles. Thanks for walking along.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Your soul is good.”

    I like that line from the song. I think of circles every so often, too. I sometimes drive past a round house and wonder what it’d be like to live inside a circle. I don’t know if it’d feel balanced, like yin and yang, or if I’d feel like everything was off-kilter. No answer, but it is a thought that circles around in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nature is filled with so many circles. I have always loved these patterns showing up unexpectedly. Now I am looking at our firewood logs and a circular rock with the word “Laugh” on it. And the Yin/Yang circle has inspired for millennia. It makes me feel good just to read this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy,
      Your thought about the log got me to look around the room I’m in at the moment. There are many circles – including partial circles such as the rounded arms of a chair or couch. My eyes even caught a capital Q. But my eyes are detecting more rectangles. Thanks for the morning thought.


  10. You are certainly giving me much food for thought. I guess the circle of life is both broken and perpetuated by death. Everywhere I look now I’m going to be looking for circles and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I love the way you tickle my brain cells. Fun times!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a lovely walk, Frank! There’s something wonderful about circles. They’re endless, which is why I suppose wedding rings are circular in shape. And whenever we can, we gather around us our circle of friends — to commiserate with us, to celebrate with us, or even just to accompany us. Wonderful topic!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My thoughts are going in circles after all these examples, Frank!

    I remember having to “draw” circles with my figure skate blade – no double edges allowed! back when there figures were compulsory before being able the jump and twirl. Holding out your arm and picturing something at the tip of your fingers to use as a focal point and hoping like hell that you’d make it all the way back to the starting point to repeat with the other foot. Then repeating twice, keeping on the same original circle you drew… And those were the simple ones! Here’s an old video showing one of the bazillion options. Kinda too bad they have eliminated this (used to be 30% of the mark!) from figure skating – even though most of us hated having to do them! https://youtu.be/jU9Hy1upUr0?t=288

    Boy… I have digressed, haven’t I? Must be because I watched some of the Olympics last night – figure skating and they skate circles around all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I found myself immediately thinking of social circles. I have been fortunate to be included in many ‘circles’ throughout my life and I think of them as warm and embracing and a comfort. But I am sure a circle takes on a completely different and harsh resonance if someone is excluded, feeling “out” of the circle. It is perspective. But I love the soft visuals you provided of bubbles, and ripples of splash points. Per usual, Frank, this was lovely to read, and very relaxing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      Social circles are an interesting thought …. and each of us have multiple. I like that fact that you also included the thought of being excluded from a social circle and that feeling of exclusion. Yep – an example of the cruel side of humanity. Glad you enjoyed the images. I must say, I had many choices – and yes – I intentionally went with a softened look – your thoughts about them made me smile. Thanks for the kind words, walking along, and sharing

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great topic……had all of us thinking about how important circles actually are……my first thoughts were the circle of life and that a circle has no beginning and no end. On and on……..propelling us forward or backward in some cases like a bicycle wheel. I also thought of something a friend who was writing a novel brought up that I was unfamiliar with – Ouroboros which derives from a Greek word meaning “tail-devourer.” While the word is not attested in English until the 1940s, the concept of the ouroboros is very ancient, used across many cultures as a symbol of cosmic harmony, eternity, and the cycle of birth and death. Thanks for another thought-provoking walk Frank!

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for the refreshing walk, Frank! Circles are for sure important parts of our lives. I immediately thought of the circle of life of course, but also of the cultures that look upon life as a line instead. I would say I look upon it as a round thread streching out in a line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann-Christine,
      Amazing how many circles we encounter in a given day. But to know that, one has to take the time to notice. The Circle of Life is an interesting topic on its own – especially because it may have different meanings to different people. I like your thread analogy. Thanks for walking along and sharing.


  16. Frank, you circled all around that topic! And did you ever use circle as a verb, no , speaking of which the letter o is a circle, at least lower case o. Upper case O is more of an oval depending on the font. Depending on what grade you teach or are in the letters a, p, d, b, q, g are all letters that are a circle with a stick on one side or the other. C is almost a circle, as is lower case e. But this is pretty random and you would only think of these things if you taught printing in kindergarten. Have a great week, Frank. Thanks for sending me this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha,
      Thanks for asking for this one and visiting. I didn’t realize that I never used the verb side of circles. I actually have notes on a second circles walk, but that is in very early stage of development – therefore I don’t anticipate it until 2023. On the plus side, if my trend continues on the noun side, I’ve added the verb side to my ideas list that would lead to volume 3. Thanks for the circles lesson with printing, which I’ve added to my notes (just in case its not already there). I can see the circles in numbers too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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