January 2016

Another year comes round again and with it the thoughts from previous years. One hundred years ago my grandparents got married, seventy five years ago my parents did the same and fifty years ago, on 1st January 1966, I got married. (25 years ago nothing happened!). Strange how figures, numbers and events can form patterns when we least expect them. When I taught mathematics there were always two series that occurred in natural life that led to the lesson on ‘the birds and the bees’.

One sequence was the human one; each of us required 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents and so on.

The other was a sequence, was named after a 13th century mathematician, Fibonacci. The sequence begins 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21…

Each new number is the sum of the previous two. Looks good but in natural life in many places not least in the life of bees!

A bee is sexed by the type of parents it has. So a male bee only has a mother and no father whilst a female bee has both mother and father! If we, therefore, trace back the family of a male bee, he has a mother, who had a mother and father, who in turn only had 3 grandparents and then 5 great grandparents and so on. There it’s wonderful what we find out at times.

But what has this to do with a new year? In one sense absolutely nothing. But on the other hand, if you’re the sort of person who can be amazed at the wonders of this world, a world that God created, you can be amazed at what at first can look ordinary and unconnected becoming part of some amazing pattern and we are opened up to the true wonders of life with all its beauty, wonder and amazing pattern. All we have to do is to look, be open to ideas, to see the world through eyes that are like a child who when they see something for themselves for the first time can be so excited. So as we begin a new year look for the patterns, the wonder and the joy that we can find around us Keep looking, listening and being amazed and excited about what 2016 may offer you and accept the opportunities that we are given.