Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Walk with The Elements

Spring always make me think about Nature. Sure, I think about all kinds of natural occurrences in all the other seasons, but particularly in the Spring, I've started thinking about the Natural Elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire.

So in my nearly-daily walking around the lake, I'm trying to distract myself with the Nature that surrounds me.


Waves of Wildflowers

Wildflowers along the path

On my first BIG walk, the one where I actually went all the way around the lake, instead of my little 1.5 stroll, I thought about Earth. My body felt very heavy and Earth-like as I was walking on the crushed granite trail. But while I looked at the trail, I noticed all these different little flowers springing up. Small chains of delicate white flowers, the lemony yellow flowers that come in the clover patches, the purple wild flowers. I thought of them as beckoning me on, encouraging me to keep going. The Mexican Plum trees still had flowers so they were beautiful and smelled great! The redbuds bloomed and the green grass looked so lush everywhere I walked. People were everywhere, riding bikes, jogging and walking their dogs. And today, they were all SO friendly. It just made me smile. Yes, Earth was providing it's part, all I had to do was notice!

The next day, was incredibly windy. The wind blew so hard on my walk that it picked up Buddy and slammed him into my ankles! I could watch the breezes travel across the water as the waves would roll in sheets out in the open area. The KiteSurfers were out, making jumps that gave them a hang time I've never seen before! They were LOVING all that wind!  Nearer the shore, the waves crashed on the rocks and the air brought the water up onto us in a spray.  There's one windmill out there and it was spinning furiously! The birds were loving it. Some were flying from tree to tree, others were soaring way up high.

The headwind was so strong as we'd make a turn and fight through it to get all the way around the lake. There weren't very many walkers that day, and one bike rider was struggling with her bike when I first saw her. Later in the walk, because I usually pass people twice, she was evidently coming to the end of her ride. She smiled widely at me, "I beat it! Gosh I wanted to give up!" We laughed and I finished my walk. So often I think of Air as a breezy almost flighty thing. Today Air showed me not to count her out! Air is Strong and Powerful and Relentless when it wants to be. No doubt.

Even the lens was foggy
So by the 3rd day, I was wondering what natural wonder would become the frontrunner of the day. The winds the day before had brought torrential rains in the night. But as is so often, the next morning shows a stillness that is the direct opposite. Today was no exception. It was still cloudy and the trail was a little soggy. But the lake was absolutely gorgeous - the water was like glass. I decided to focus on the water that day. One lone fisherman sat out in the middle of the lake. With the wind so still, I could hear the bullfrogs in the reeds. At one point, I just sat on the bench to take it all in.


So this morning, I woke up knowing that the element that would have to surface today would be Fire. As I pulled the shades back, I could see it was a bright sunny day! The morning sun was shining straight into my face. I would definitely need my sunglasses today. The sun is a powerful reminder of the element, Fire.
The water glistened and sparkled as the sun reflected from the waves. It reminded me of many a beach trip.  The heat on the trail was really growing - a little reminder that we ARE in Texas, and it WILL be hot again very soon.

What I think I learned from all of this is that these elements are out there all the time. While I was looking for particularly signs of the elements each different day, but the others weren't gone. They were just not taking center stage. On the day I deemed to be "Water", I came home with a slight sunburn on my face and arms. The sun was evidently there all the while, shining through the clouds. On the day I considered my Earth day, the birds were flitting from tree to tree. I fell in love with these black birds that had these beautiful red and yellow stripes on their shoulder areas. I even asked a family that was walking what they were called. Hoping for some exotic name, the internet search revealed that these incredible birds in the marshes are simply called Red Winged Blackbirds. It made me chuckle. They didn't need a show-offy name; their looks spoke for themselves.

So all of the elements were present every single day. They're completely in balance. Ebbing and flowing, depending on the day.

I tend to think of myself as more of a Water Person. I feel connected to water most of all. I have water everywhere - a fountain the front yard, a waterfall in the backyard, a hot tub, a community pool, a gym with a pool. I just love water. But recently, I've started paying attention to other Elements. And I've discovered that one isn't better than the other. Fire is not the opposite of Water...just different. So, in a search for balance, I'm trying to pay attention to all of them.

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