The circle is perhaps the most diverse shape. From the circle comes many of the most common objects and shapes that we experience in the natural world and that simple perfection translates to so many things we, as humans, create and invent. In the natural world we can see the perfect circle as the foundation for so many beautiful and powerful things. As we turn to science to study our natural world (which includes the universe) we see the planets and stars over our heads. Their shape, a three dimensional orb, is derived from the perfect circle. Their orbits around one another are also derived from a circular path. The atomic and sub atomic particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, etc), that are the building blocks of our material world are also orbs or spheres based upon the perfect circle. When we consider the world in between, that we experience every day, we see circles and orbs in practically everything. The foundation of our own biology and the biology of our fellow plant and animal neighbors contain circular and spherical cells. Eggs, seeds, drops of rain and hail, and so much more. Just look around you!
In our invented, mechanical world we humans often create magnificent things. The most profound among them are inspired by the natural world and can often be traced to a circle. As children, and adults, the perfect toy is a ball. Such a variety of entertainment and valuable social interaction comes from hitting a ball with a bat, bouncing a ball and throwing it through a hoop or just passing it back and forth with another human. The utility of the circle is obvious when we think of the greatest invention – or perhaps more accurately stated – the discovery, of the wheel. The wheel, and it’s derivatives, are the foundation of every civilized and industrialized human accomplishment, from transportation, to construction, to the the production of energy.
All of these wonders are circles, or at least started out that way and were only altered and evolved by the strains of other forces in the environment. A planet and it’s orbit are not perfectly circular or spherical only because of additional gravitational forces both from within and around them. The rain drop is only “tear” shaped because of the forces of gravity and shearing it experiences as it falls through the atmosphere. Even in our man made creations we modify circular and spherical shapes to better meet our utilitarian needs or to simply please our aesthetics. The circle is perfection in it’s symmetry and in it’s diversity to change when either tested by the natural environment or deemed appropriate by our inventiveness or trends. The circle is dynamic.
Every day I challenge myself to create something here. Today and tomorrow I challenge myself and you the reader to take notice of how many circles you see around you, both natural and man-made.