Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Four Elements

There are four classical elements: Earth, air, water, and fire. If you buy into the psychology of these elements, we each act in accordance with one of the four. Fire people are aggressive, dominating, have fierce tempers, and are passionate. Earth people are stable, unchanging, solid, and reliable. Water people are floaty, change their minds a lot, and are easy to get along with. Air people are lofty, have grand ideas that change on a dime, can be temperamental between calm and insane, but are also accepting of all other people's elemental personalities.

I think I am an Air person. Yes, I love Earth. It's beautiful, green, and props to trees for the oxygen. I love fire, in a fire pit, candle, or bonfire. I crave the water, to swim, drink, and play in.

But between the four elements, my longing, the internal tug, is toward air. That's one of the reasons I love it here so much. We are at 1000 feet of elevation, higher up in the air than in any other place I've ever lived, and such the clouds seem to rest on our heads. (Yes, I know, clouds are technically water but since they are up in the air, directed and shaped by the air, they fall into the air category.)

In the other places we've lived, the trees are so thick that the only place to get a good view of the sky is in the Wal-Mart parking lot. But here where there are very few tall trees, the sky sits above you like a blanket, like a sheet billowed out by a mother's hand, drifting slowly down to cover you in softness.

On an overcast day, the clouds feel like a gray trap, holding you down, holding you in. Comforting in their tight embrace.

But on a sunny day, the endless puffy white clouds scoot across the sky in an endless parade of shapes and shades.

Oh, how I wish I could paint clouds!

So, if you had to choose which thing to sit and look at, hours on end, which would you choose?

1. The ocean, waves rolling, tides turning, gulls calling
2. Fire dancing and twisting in a nonstop flamenco party
3. Clouds rolling through the sky, blown by the wind, across deep blue skies or a purple sunset
4. Mountain views with rivers snaking through valleys and trees in full color.

What a delicious choice!