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February 22 - Welcome to a Week Focused on Cycles

The word cycle comes from Latin and Greek roots, both meaning circle. Cycles can generally be characterized by things that come full circle.

So far this month, we looked closely at the quality of light at different hours of the day and at the seasons of the year. Both of these can be characterized as cycles. One comes full circle every 24 hours while the other occurs over the course of a full year.

When we explored color, we explored color relationships and had the chance to create a color wheel. In mixing colors, the colors come full circle as well. We move through the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and back to red again.

In the natural world, there are many cycles. These range from the immediacy of the cycle of a single breath to the rock cycle that occurs over hundreds and thousands of years. Noticing cycles in our environment is another way to deepen attention and connection.

Today, I invite you to think about cycles in your life and world.

Mandala of seasonal colors on the forest floor.

Practice - Create a Mandala

Since the word cycle means circle, I thought we would start this week with the creation of a mandala. A mandala is a circle image. It is an invitation to a meditative space for focus and exploration. Begin by tracing a dinner plate or paper plate on a sheet of paper. Use lines, shapes, and colors to fill the space. You can go outside the circle or stay inside. This is your space. There is no wrong way to do this.

The image below with the week as a wheel comes from the Whole Time Planner. If you enjoy the mandal practice, you might want to try something similar and fill a circle for each day to see your week as a cycle.

Inspiration from Art - Julia Rothman’s Illustrated Nature Guides

The images below come from Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World. This book includes many examples of cycles in nature such as the life cycle of mushrooms, the phases of the moon, the rock cycle and the water cycle.

You can visit her website to see more of her work. Ocean Anatomy is another favorite resource of mine.

Thank you for being a part of this newsletter community.

Thank you to everyone who has been sharing images and creations.

Please feel free to share anything you are noticing or creating.

Respond to this email or share on Instagram with hashtag #papercolorearth

Thanks, Kathryn

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