Gratitude for the Four Elements

stone spiral

I make jewelry in my spare time, and recently I’ve been really drawn to natural gemstones, looking up what healing qualities each is believed to possess, and enjoying putting stones together both for their aesthetic and mystic qualities.

I’ve always liked and collected rocks. When I was a kid, I was drawn to those random quartzes you find outdoors, or a unique looking speckled rock, a fossil, an odd shape or an odd color. Once I found what I think was “fool’s gold” or pyrite, and you would’ve thought I’d won the lottery. (I still feel that way about finding sea glass or shark’s teeth!)

Later my stones of choice turned into beads, maybe because in addition to collecting them, you can actually wear them. I find it fascinating that you can pull a mineral out of the ground, cut it quite randomly, polish it, and be left with a beautiful piece of art in its own right. And to think that the vibrational energy that occurred naturally within the ground is available to us to carry around in the form of a stone bead (see my recent blog on “grounding” for more information).

I love digging in the dirt whenever I have a chance to work in the garden. I love playing in the sand at the beach. I used to love scooping handfuls of clay out of the ground up north and forming pots and shapes with it. I marveled the first time I saw how red the soil was in Georgia. But I never really reflected much on how much I love “earth” until recently when I visited the mountains of North Carolina (much cooler in July than Florida!) and appreciated a refreshing breeze that rustled the leaves on the trees and made some wind chimes start clanging.

A breeze is a simple thing, but so lovely. In my youth, my mom liked having the windows open on a nice day, and I liked seeing a breeze blow her long, flowy sheer curtains away from the window and into the living room like a graceful dance move.

In appreciating that breeze in North Carolina, reminiscent of the breezes of my childhood, it occurred to me how very grateful I am for all the elements: earth, air, water, and fire.

I’ve already covered my love for earth. And breezes. Air is easy to take for granted, but think how wonderful it is to take in a deep breath of clean, fresh air! As for water, I’m always grateful for rain for my garden and for the cleansing a good rain shower provides. Have you ever had a massage or a nap while it rained? Somehow it’s just extra soothing and restorative. Rainy days tend to be quieter and more contemplative, and as much as I love the Florida sunshine, I’m also thankful for a break from it. I drink a ton of water, and feel grateful for the clean water we have abundant access to (for drinking AND bathing and swimming), and I love how good I feel when I’m sufficiently hydrated.

Fire is well represented in Florida by the almost ever-present sun, most assuredly ready to burn us if we don’t protect ourselves. Still, I do love the sunshine and feel energized by longer days. I used to get seasonal depression up north when the winter skies turned gloomy and gray for days on end. And in the winter when it finally cools off, I absolutely love sitting by a fire outside. Is there anything more mesmerizing than staring into a fire?

We need all the elements for life, and they were well understood by ancient Greeks (from greekmedicine.net):

“The Four Elements formed the classical Greek conception of the universe, as follows:
“At the center of our world is the Earth, as the planet we live on, the ground and support beneath our feet. Because of Earth’s great heaviness and density, all things gravitate towards it.
“Running over and around the Earth is Water, in the form of lakes, rivers, and oceans. Water fertilizes and impregnates the Earth, giving it Life.
“Over the spheres of Earth and Water is that of Air, the atmosphere in which we live, move and have our being. Air’s essence is exchange, contact and movement. All living things need Air to breathe.
“And finally, Fire lights up the Sun, Moon, and stars in the celestial firmament. Fire has brilliance and spirit, and symbolizes the Life Force within us.
“The human body and each of its constituent parts is also composed of the Four Elements, in varying proportions. The … human body, or microcosm reflects that of the macrocosm of Nature.”

Earth in the body = solid, dense tissues: bones, connective tissue, teeth, nerves, gums, hair, nails
Air = lungs and open spaces and cavities in the chest and elsewhere.
Water = bodily fluids: blood, lymph, phlegm, mucous.
Fire = digestive enzymes and organs, the heart and the metabolism, active muscles that create heat, the sparkle in our eyes.

May we always have an appreciation for our earth, clean air, refreshing water, and energetic fire—in nature and in ourselves!

Category : Uncategorized Posted on July 28, 2016

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