The Fractal Fern

A friend is reading the rough draft of my book and when she got to the part about fractals and read my explanation of this basic geometry of nature, she said, "I need to see a picture!" And, then, there I was, walking through the woods and I saw this: a perfect fractal fern.

Notice how the shape of the entire fern leaf is repeated in each leaflet along its spine.
Then notice how along each of those leaflets, many small copies of this same shape are lined up along the leaflet's spine.
The self-similarity of this particular specimen is striking, down to the way the tip of the fern is still curled up a little, evoking its recent days as what's known as a fiddlehead (which, I hear, taste very good when fried in butter...but, then, most things do.)

I also like this photo because it expresses what I am feeling after a week of devotional chanting. It is very hard to put this feeling in words, but it is sort of like this: an uncurling within me, a new life that is uncoiling and extending into a larger form, one more spiritually evolved and fully developed than who I thought I was.
And, yet, still the same somehow.

That's about all I can say in words for now. Maybe more will come later, but for now I wanted to share with you this picture of the universe. Because, you see, what I found somewhere during one of those chants, is that we are all, all of us, deep down, essentially the same as the Whole of which we are a tiny part. We are one of those little leaflets on the great magnificent fern which is, in turn, slowly unfurling around us.


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