Air through the practice of meditation and Chi Kung I am aware of my breath and the way it changes. If for example I am stressed I can feel the way my breathing is shallow and rapid. I am sensitive to the changes in the air around me. I love the feeling of peacefulness on a still summers day when there is very little movement in the air, or the welcome feeling of a summer breeze on a hot day. I enjoy hearing the leaves rustle as the wind flows through them and how it can whistle and roar down the chimney and drive the clouds scudding across the sky. Sometimes the air is dry, sometimes full of moisture before a rain storm, or humid and sticky with no rain. The first thing we do when we are born is breathe and it is the last thing we will do as we die.
Water is an important Element for us all. Water has great powers and often a deceptive beauty. The stream or river that trickles past with barely a murmur can turn into a raging torrent and bring flooding and destruction but ironically leaving behind fertile soil on the flood planes. I live by the sea and enjoy seeing it many moods but I am wary of its power. In East Africa a prolonged drought has caused a famine and millions of people are living in misery and dying. All living things need water to survive.
Water conceals hidden depths, sunken cities mythical realms, sirens and mermaids, luring men into their watery liars. Springs emerging from the earth and secretly run underground until the come into the light and people create wells which are frequently seen as scared places. Chalice Wells in Glastonbury has water which is white and pure and is always at a constant temperature. At the nearby Red Well the water runs blood red and tastes of iron. The two springs both emerge on the Tor a few feet apart at one of the places the mystical glass castle of Merlin may have stood. Dreams, myths and mysteries are all concealed in the power of water.
Fire is beautiful when contained in a candle, fire pit, or fireplace. It is wonderful to return home on a cold blustery day and light a fire, cook a meal and be warm and cosy thanks to the element of fire. The mellow light of candlelight the smell of incense burning enhances my meditation practice,
Lighting the candle
the peace and joy I feel
brightens the face of the earth
We depend on fire for all the myriad of uses we have for energy in the twenty first century. But when unleashed it can harm and destroy. The unattended candle can topple and burn a house down. The heat of the sun can cause fire storm which destroy swathes of forests and farmland as well as houses, melt roads. It twist and distort metal, but also by harnessing it we can melting metal ore to gives us iron, gold silver....
The sun is essential to life on earth without it our planet would ice up and all life would die. I love the sun and its warmth and benefits. As winter turns into spring I like to warm myself in the early morning rays of the sunshine. As summer turns to Autumn I like to walk at sunset and see the setting sun by the sea and moon rising. Each element has its beauty but each needs to be respected as well.
Earth can be harnessed for our benefit and gives us food, fuel and shelter. Often it is unthinkingly desecrated by humanities’ need for more and more resources. A diamond is a very beautiful gem, but it can be tainted by cruel greedy men enslaving people to mine it from the ground. Even from afar a volcanic eruption can effect weather systems and even stop the modern world by its ash grounding planes. The earth as it pushes and moves can shake and destroy lives livelihoods building landndscapes...... As we witnessed in Japan this year.........
Once you start web weaving thoughts seem to casscade through the mind. This are some of my reflection on the elements - I hope they inspire you to weave your own web about the elements of this wonderful planet with live on.
See Touching The Earth April 2011 to read more about my feeling for the Earth