Recently, after my favorite morning coffee near Temescal Alley in North Oakland, I wandered into Crimson Horticulture Rarities. What rarities and delights this tiny shop packs! I picked up a beautiful cone shaped object that looked like it had been painstakingly covered with wool tweed. As it turns out, this marvel of nature was actually the seed pod of a rare type of Protea. Protea is the botanical name of a wide variety of South African flower plants. Named after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his form at will, these plants also have a wide variety of forms. And what beautiful forms and textures they have! It is a reminder of what a masterful designer nature is. It seems our most beautiful and intriguing human designs are often inspired by natures mastery. Maybe our attraction to these designs is our way of connecting to nature, or maybe, thinking of Andy Goldsworthy's words below, a way to connect to ourselves and each other.
“We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.”