Partnership for Earth Spirituality
Earth Art / Pat Malcolm

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Honey Locust Pods

Last fall I discovered a Honey Locust tree in our neighborhood filled to capacity with spiraling seed pods. Perhaps the unusually wet year had prompted this young tree to produce an over abundance of seeds...and form each of those seeds into spectacular spirals. Whatever the reason, it was cause enough to celebrate this fecundity with a series of paintings and drawings. The seeds spoke to me in many ways about the variety of powers which flow within our universe. Taking part in a seminar on the Powers of the Universe by Brian Swimme during the winter months was instrumental in this reflection...I made the paintings part of my “homework.”

The theme of Centration brought to mind an icon of the spiral dance which radiates from the seeds and all the connections I began to see between them and other creatures. The honey bees gather the nectar in the spring blossoms, dance their own spiral dance, and create honey. The deer feast on the rich nutrients in the seeds and then, of course, help to spread the seeds far and wide. The vortices in wind and water reflect the spiral dance in their patterns of movement. Some research on the molecular structure of glucose, a primary building block in life, revealed the same shape as a single honeycomb cell...why am I surprised? It goes on and on with patterns that repeat themselves with infinite variety.

Other paintings in this series speak of Emergence ( in multiple ways), Homeostasis, Interrelatedness, and Radiance. The seeds sit on the windowsill in my studio and continue to entice me with new insights. They’re simply a delight to listen to.

—Pat Malcolm
June 2005

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Centration/Spiral Dance
Emergence II
Emergence I


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