Echoes of Nature’s Patterns: A Journey of Discovery and Connection

Nashon J. Adero
5 min readMay 26, 2024


Unveiling the Hidden Symmetry Between Nature and Human Endeavours

Weekend Reflections on mentorship lessons from Germany to Slovakia

Today, let’s spare a thought for our mothers. In their simplicity and purity of love and sacrifice, they have made us what we are today. My own mother, Hannah Adoyo, though she left this earthly scene in 2006, remains my hero on this symbolic Mother’s Day. The story below gleaned from Germany and Slovakia reaffirms the lessons in embracing the patterns of life and cherishing perseverance, which she taught me through her sterling examples.

Discovery in Simplicity

“What do you see?” I mumbled, then held back my answer. “Ein Moment!” so went his feedback as I hesitated to reply. He then took out a well-kept atlas from his signature leather bag. “Now, examine these two deltas. One in Africa, the other one in Europe — two continents apart but one common heritage of splendour,” he said and sat back, satisfied that he had given me enough clue to notice the commonality.

Contrasting Perspectives

Honestly, I could not connect the messages in the flowers, trees, and the two deltas. It didn’t help that I already knew the two famous deltas before: Okavango Delta and Danube Delta. My thinking, being analytically trained in surveying and mapping, noticed more of contrasts than similarities.

A Lesson of Patience and Observation

“Your next chance to see the connection will be in the mountains as we cross the borders to the east. Don’t let the Ore Mountains fade from your memory once you have turned your back on them,” he reassured me. That would be on a different day reserved for visiting Banská Štiavnica, a preserved medieval and former silver mining town in central Slovakia.

Historical Reflections in Banská Štiavnica

This historic town still has some scores to settle with the Silver City of Freiberg on the claims as to which of the two came first in starting a mining academy. Situated in a caldera known as the Štiavnica Mountains and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1993), Banská Štiavnica provided a quiet place for rest, recollection, and reflection.

The Technical University of Košice (TUKE), the historic pride of the town in mining education, mirrored a long range of thoughts shooting back to its roots in 1657, growing through 1762 during the times of the Kingdom of Hungary when Maria Theresa established the Mining Academy in Banská Štiavnica (Selmecbánya), and later maturing to commence higher technical education in Košice in 1937. This is where we held most of our cross-country talks. My part dwelt on sharing Kenya’s mining experience with a focus on Taita Taveta’s gemstones and industrial minerals, and how reclamation targets can be tracked using GIS technology, a key environmental responsibility after mine closure.

The castle in Bojnice, a majestic spectacle, broadened my horizon of imagining possibilities. A tour of reclaimed mining sites, now getting utilised for aquaculture and hydroponics, made for welcome restoration. The last site tour, to artificial mining lakes or #tajchs — the artificial water reservoirs which formed one of the reasons why Banská Štiavnica was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, inspired me to query the anomaly I spotted on the graduations of the levelling gauge. The tour guide said that he borrowed part of his interpretations from an exemplary irrigation engineering project in Kenya. What a pride and a fulfilment to me as the only Kenyan on the excursion!

Inspirational Lessons from Nature

In a split second, I decided to give the old man’s challenge another try. The excursion experience was rejuvenating. Instead of starting with what I saw, I started with questions on what could have produced what I saw. This is when and where the lessons began to come to life.

The Revelation of Fractal Geometry

The old man then told me that what I had just discovered in these natural patterns is a well-developed subject known as fractal geometry. He added that advances in the study of fractal geometry, riding the wave of digital transformation, have huge prospects for early detection of cancer. Intuitively, I could now see that the street patterns and the buildings here seemed to be a replica of the old buildings I used to see in parts of Freiberg. The quote of Leonardo da Vinci sprang up from my long-term memory, the lessons clear and cemented: “Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses — learn, especially, how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else.”

Conclusion: Embracing the Patterns of Life

I was supposed to notice nature’s self-replicating patterns in the flowers, forest, deltas, and mountain ranges! I was supposed to think in terms of the big picture. How nature’s most profound lessons are disguised in such simplicity that we often so easily lose the meaning as we confuse ourselves with disjointed details!

Epilogue: A Call to Perseverance

The revelations led me to pen the following key lessons to benefit people or nations who may have found themselves on the verge of giving up. Life lessons are all around us, persistent and landing softly like a nightlong windless drizzle. The impact is always inescapable in the morning for all and sundry to see. Visit places that have been rebuilt to a brand-new appeal from the ravages of war; visit and comfort victims of floods and hurricanes; talk to the survivors and learn from their lessons and new resolve to live meaningfully. Stand up, stand out, and reclaim your rightful space, for you are the only one of your kind and nature eagerly awaits to make a unique difference through your calling, a noble vocation you need to live out and get real fulfilment in the journey of life. Amidst life’s vicissitudes, strive to be the verisimilitude for valour, vividness, and vision.

Snapshots taken in Slovakia in September 2019. Photo credit: Nashon Adero

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Nashon J. Adero

A geospatial and systems modelling expert, lecturer, youth mentor and trained policy analyst, who applies system dynamics to model complex adaptive systems.