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Nature Wisdom

With Pat Tuholske
Naturalist

The Elements Within

The lure of spring draws us outside with warm winds, bird song, frog calls and greening grass. As kids we were set free, we owned the world and mastered the elements. We knew the power of air, adventure of water, magic of dirt and wonder of fire.
The elements can be doorways, awakening forgotten talents and revealing hidden personal qualities. Air, fire, water and earth are teachers and healers of our mind, spirit, emotions and physical self.

The element of AIR and our own thoughts express energy. Like our mental process, air is invisible. We only see an object’s reaction to air. Just as the windstorm brings change, concepts and ideas can blow through our mind, transforming creative inspirations into action.

Treasured mystery to primitive cave dwelling ancestors, FIRE is the element of will and courage. Fire symbolizes our own inner creative spark and the wisdom of our soul’s memory. Fire has many faces. Gaze into a star filled sky and feel the eternal aspect of your spirit. Meditate with a candle flame to practice focus and discipline.

Like WATER, emotions can be hidden in the depths or rippling across the surface of a face. Water is the element of purification and cleansing. Sit by a body of water in reflection and you usually feel better. Tears are known to cleanse the soul. The world feels fresher after a big rainstorm.

EARTH, the symbol of our physical body, gives us support. Put your hands on the soil when you’re stressed and the ground will absorb it. We are born of earth and our cells need to feel its touch. Take off your shoes and walk on it. Dig your fingers in the dirt and plant some seeds. Pick up a rock and keep it on your desk. It will bring you the gift of kinship.

Let the elements open your senses to absolute awareness and deep connection to all of Nature. Pledge to care for the elements by changing your lifestyle, by changing yourself. Live simply and conserve resources. Make a vow to preserve the basic elements of life and appreciate every stream, stone and breeze. Respect every heartfelt emotion, spiritual path and creative thought.

I challenge you to make this Pledge to the Elements. The most powerful and binding oath one can make is to the elements of the natural world. If you sway from your oath, the elements will get your attention and nudge you. They may slightly delay your plans or severely disrupt your life. So, say these words with forethought. The whole of Nature is listening.

“This promise I make by sun and moon, by water and wind, by day and night, by sea and land. With this oath I swear to amend that which has been harmed and retrieve that which has been lost. Shall I fail to keep this oath, may the elements themselves reach out and hinder me.” 4th century Irish oath to the elements

Honor the elements within and remember who you are.

Check out Pat’s “Nature Chronicles” for musings on the Human-Nature relationship. Go to pattuholske.com. See her Wild Wreaths and Prayer Wheels crafted from Ozark native plants at willowrainherbalgoods.com.

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