Wonder – A Prairie Wisdom Card

Sunflower in Detail

Sunflower © 2103 Bo Mackison

“Could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; and you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.”
~ Kahlil Gibran

If you ever have a chance to see a giant sunflower, up close and personal, you will notice that the sunflower seeds always form in a spiral pattern. Each successive seed placement approximated the golden angle, (137.5˚) and so fully covers the space.

What a wonder-evoking sight. We know nature is filled with patterns and sequences, but often they remain hidden from our unseeing eyes. The sunflower, another natural things like pine cones, the leaves on a stem or the branching of a tree, the fronds on a fern, even the tippets covering a pineapple, follow this mathematical formula.

The beauty of the pattern, in part, is a result of the precise play of the positioning of each concentric layer, and the creation of an eye-pleasing spiral. Gifts of wonderment!

“This very moment of your life, if you experience it fully, will show you astonishing wonders and exquisite delights.” ~ Martha Beck

The WONDER card offers activities for contemplation, art, and writing and a call to action:

  • Journal prompt: Compile a list of things that are common to our culture – for example, a vending machine, a super-sized grocery store, the subway. Choose one thing and write about it, writing from the perspective of someone unfamiliar with such conveniences.
  • Art and contemplative activities: The circular mandala often is used as a symbol for the Universe, for the whole. Seeds are the tiny packages filled with potential.
    • Gather seeds of any kind — choose one kind of seed, or different colored and sized seeds. Begin with a seed for the center, then create a circle with seeds, much like the sunflower with its closely packed seeds in ever-expanding spirals.
    • You can create this in nature as a temporary art installation in miniature. Or you can glue the seeds to cardboard for a more permanent mandala.
    • As you create the mandala, consider the potential of each seed, and consider the potential that exists within you.
  • Call to action: Take a walk in nature and look for some of the countless patterns in nature. Express your wonder with each discovery: “What a wonder-filled world!”


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  Bo is creating a set of Prairie Wisdom Cards, second in a series of cards based on natural habitats, and used for exploration and self-discovery.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Science and Art – Whoa!!!

    Very interesting thoughs – looking,observing -see what we haven’t seen.


  2. Incredible!! I had no idea about the precise patterning of a sunflower’s seeds. Inspiring work…:-)

  3. The sunflower in this perspective reminds me of an intricately tiled floor or an embroidered sari, just beautiful.

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