Natures Mirror of Symmetry
by Cheryl Caine

"There are reoccurring patterns that are archetypal and sacred in nature."

Written by a public school art teacher, this book is rooted in the symmetrical aesthetics at work all around us. The author posits that we lose an appreciation and sense of awe of nature as we age, and the book is an attempt to reacclimate readers with the wonders of it as well as the natural symmetry that exists all around us. The author’s work is in full color, with gloriously large photos of intricate details of natural items. Chapter Four, for example, is dominated by picturesque landscapes of mountains, beaches, cliffs, and canyons. These natural settings prove to be ripe with symmetry, produced by elements such as rain, wind, and fire.

The narrative also emphasizes the mandala, a symmetrical shape that consists of religious and cultural symbols. The author explains how this symbol and others, such as a totem pole, are central figures in both ancient and contemporary religions. She then relates this to our very DNA, or that which makes us human, to show how symmetry is at work in all of us.

There is a spiritual aspect of the book, too, that is worth noting. The author begins by being surprised when her students explain that “Mother Nature” doesn’t exist, that it is a sacrilegious term to use when referring to God. Rather, as the book explains, Mother Nature is the goddess of the earth, and the author writes candidly about a type of spiritual vision and awakening that allowed her to appreciate the “in-between time” of our lives when reality is not certain.

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