In most parts of the world right now, the season is shifting. Looking out to the garden from our kitchen table right now, I see flowers blooming, plums ripening, new life taking hold. Summer is dawning. Or it could be turning to winter where you are.
In times of change, it can be grounding to return to basics.
I’d like to focus for a second on the four elements that classical traditions around the world identified long ago.
We know them as earth, water, air, and fire.
Let’s listen today to the wise words of voices gone by, as they bring a bit of nature-inspired insight to our day. Sometimes a helpful nudge can come just from hearing a different perspective on the world around and inside us.
“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with love like that. It lights up the sky.” – Rumi
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” – Thoreau
“Earth laughs in flowers.” – Emerson
“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” – Watts
“People are like tea bags – you find out how strong they are when they’re put in hot water.” – Roosevelt
“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.” – Dinesen
“Take a walk in good fresh air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.” – Muir
“If you were a bird, and lived on high, You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by; You’d say to the wind when it took you away: ‘That’s where I wanted to go today!'” – Milne
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – Ward
“The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.” – Nixon
“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.” – Graham
“When you’re tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water.” – Unknown
I hope these words bring some ease and lightness to your day.