RANDOM SYMMETRY

Small clouds of dust offer a brief history of my passing, motion is my motivation. Decades of syncing a given pace to my pumping heart and expanding lungs allow me to move with confidence. I am hiking for tomorrow, pushing hard now so I can wander deep, deep into the wilderness that I need as much as my body needs water and air. My eyes reach beyond my pace, control my pace, they never stop moving.

Fading green grasses show tinges of brown while the light green of new growth darkens. Spring’s trailing edge is moving forward, gaining ground, the soft colors of supple plants will soon give way to the rustling brittle browns of a Wasatch desert summer.

Early flowers are fading, petals swelling into seed, a promise of return. A late blossom slows then stops my stride. Kneeling before the perennial, a sego lily, I study the petals, mesmerized by the delicate beauty found in the flower’s subtle colors and perfect symmetry.

I paused for the symmetry, it is a paradox in nature. I find beauty, beauty and introspection, in the ruggedness of random peaks, in the mosaic mix of wildflowers. I find it in random uncertainty, simply not knowing, not knowing which way a raptor will turn, not knowing if the bear or the pika waits around the next bend. It all creates the appearance of an arbitrary existence within the boundaries of what we call wilderness. But like symmetry, it is far from random, it is an intertwining of evolving parts, a delicate balance of interdependence.

The lily’s rotational symmetry is symbolic of nature’s progress, of nature moving forward and maintaining balance, an evolving balance, that allows this apparent randomness to exist. It is this underlying, almost invisible equilibrium, that subtly permeates the wild and allows rugged imperfection to bring harmony into my soul.

Mike Bennett

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