On a Beech Walk: #67 (The Hidden World)

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Eyes allow us to see much – the powdery sand, the waves moving toward shore then gliding across the sandy upslope, the blue sky, the shiny sun and its reflections, plus much more.

When we concentrate to look carefully and closely, we notice so much more. Oh the wonderful details that nature offers us – the designs, patterns, colors – not only here where I walk, but throughout the natural world.

However, today I wonder about the hidden world – the world that we cannot see with the unaided eye. The world that is too small, too far away, too fast, too slow, or even covered or enclosed.

The hummingbird’s wings move fast and appear to us as a blur – yet technology can slow the video enough to capture the elegance of the wing motion and to notice similarities and differences with other winged creatures. The same video technology allows us to analyze fast human motions as running, skiing, skating, swinging a golf club, tennis racket, or baseball bat.

At the opposite end of the scale, technology can capture slow movements of massive structures as glaciers and tectonic plates. Movements that we measure in inches or centimeters per year.

As I peer across the sea, the water covers much that is below. Many things that are large enough to see with the unaided eye, but they are below the water. From ashore we cannot see the mountains, ridges, and canyons below – let alone all the aquatic life. The ocean’s depth is a world without light, so our vision is limited. This is a world of yet-to-be-discovered life. A world containing the lost-then-found; such as the Titanic and other sunken treasures.

Thinking about the water covering all that is below the surface, my mind sees a parallel to what is below the land’s surface. The life – minerals – signs of humanity’s past are not only below, but they are layered with the youngest closer to the top. Technology allows to see whatever is covered.

Whereas our skin and hair cover the internal world within us, various scans and imagery give medical professionals a closer look. The X-ray showing a bone fracture or a tumor. The MRI being able to visualize the brain by peeling it layer by layer like an onion. Laboratory tests that provide a view of much activity in the blood.

I look at my arm thinking about the invisible world that is too small to see with the unaided eye – a world that simple microscopes take us into – the world of single cells. The world of 2 or more groups of like cells organizing into tissues. The world being able to see various parts of a single cell. Parts that work together as a complex machine known as a life form.

Other technologies take us into the world of atoms and molecules that make up those cell parts. Atoms and molecules that are in constant motion – let alone comparing the motion of solids, liquids, and gases.

Telescopes allows us to explore the heavens above. That world has expanded with fly-by exploring missions as Voyager, Cassini, and others give us a closer view of our celestial neighbors, whereas the Hubble telescope delivers fascinating and mystical views of deep space.

It seems my brain hurts as I think about the hidden world that I cannot see because it is too small, too far away, too fast, too slow, or even covered or enclosed – but all of which technology allows us to see or at least understand. Maybe the hidden world is like a secret – that is unknown – but unlike a secret, one to be known.

For me, thinking is about making connections, which helps me understand and wonder about the world. Both of which are important as I walk the beach, after all, I like walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

32 thoughts on “On a Beech Walk: #67 (The Hidden World)

  1. Macro v. micro. As human beings, we are losing sight of the latter. How important life is in the small scale, at the human level, without technology. Instead, we spend our time connected to the rest of the world, to the people who aren’t in front of us, and the people in front of us are neglected, ignored, and the divisions grow.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark,
      The fact that I inspired a philosophical thought makes me smile. We humans are a selfish lot, always have been, probably always will be. Yet, when pushed, humans can see the big picture and act accordingly – but for how long?

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I hope to always be aware and fascinated and transfixed with what I can see with my eyes as well as to be curious enough to wonder at the hidden natural world. Your beautiful writings made me think of William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence” which begins with, “To see a World in a Grain of Sand…” Yes!

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’ve always loved that poem, and bringing it up here is perfect, Debra. Frank – great philosophical walking here. We humans think everything is right in front of us, and in truth, everything is actually within us and deep below and above. We just stopped looking once we left childhood.


  3. the song was fun – upbeat, good message, and the dancing in the circle was artsy – and of course it fit your thoughts here…”because it is too small, too far away, too fast, too slow, or even covered or enclosed…”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too liked the “spec in a drop of pond water” idea. I’m OK with being a spec in the drop that’s in the pond that’s in the lake that’s in the ocean that’s on the planet that’s in the universe. Your post gave me lots of examples of ways to apply that. I also enjoyed your breezy upbeat video. It reduced the worries about those tectonic plates beneath me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to think I was a more auditory in nature person but clearly have morphed into being much more visual in my old age. There’s such a wondrous feeling to finding some some detail you’ve walked passed numerous times on walks and seeing something so cool you wonder how you missed it. Too often we take the visual world for granted. Thanks for your beach walk perspective, it’s always a home run, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robin,
      I didn’t know Macy Gray is from Ohio. Cheers to that and thanks for sharing. Finding the right song for this post wasn’t easy, so I’m glad that it worked!

      Thanks for the kind words about the post. This one tied a lot of concepts together, which (for me) is a good thing. After ll, the more connections on can make the more they learn.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This one is certainly a thinker making one ponder. We as humanoids feel larger then life for the most part yet when we stop focusing on ourselves to ponder and wonder what is the glue that holds everything together, now that begins to boggle the mind. At least it does mine. The invisible in my humble opinion is by far more important then the visible, for it is the invisible that makes the visible possible. Take for example the spectrum of light. We cannot see the atoms, the individual cells that combine to form light for those are so tiny we cannot possibly see them. Yet those invisible characteristics allow us to see light in myriads of ways.

    In order to experience this plane of life, that depends on the invisible, the tiny, those very things most of us never even stop to think about.

    When my Dad was alive, he kept telling me that scientists to this day cannot identify a tiny speck of light in every single cell in our bodies. They do not know what that light is. Could that be God? Could it be possible we who are “made in the image of God” have God right within each and every one of our billions of cells? I’ve questioned that many times and knowing about that light has given me empowerment in many situations, knowing I am Divinity living a human life. All because of a light we cannot see that exists in each on of our billions of cells.

    I absolutely LOVED this post, Frank. I love to think and to ponder. There was a time in my life when I hung out with thinkers who dared to push the borders of sanity, questioning and seeking. And I still to this day do that very thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • AmyRose,
      The fact that this walk sparked a philosophical thought made my day. Thank you. As one you has studied (a lot) about the relationship between science and religion, things like this also gets me wondering. Cheers to thinkers! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Another wonderful beach walk Frank, so much inspiration and thought that happens when you refresh your feet and mind on the sand!! I love how you draw our attention to the unseen, it is important for us all to take a wider perspective than that we can see with a quick glance. In so many more ways than one.

    I’m going to miss these posts !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jo,
      Thank you for the very kind words. You are not the first to describe a walk as poetic. Oddly, I don’t see them as a poem, but can see how they can be. Oh well … not many more left!


  8. I think about the microcosm of life a lot. We are truly the centre of our universe, as it expands without and within.
    Love the title, Frank! It had me expecting something else.


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