Summer is a time when many leave their work-a-day lives behind and travel or plan a stay-cation. Vacation, whether visiting another place or staying home, is intended to be a time of rejuvenation, a time to relax, regroup, refresh. We need the time apart from work, from the daily responsibilities of home life. For many, vacation is just as busy and packed with activities as their daily lives. Where is the rejuvenation?
We need to regroup, reconnect, and reestablish our groundedness. From dust we came, and from dust we will return, according to the Bible. We were formed from the elements of the earth. Nature is very rejuvenating. I truly never understood the concept of the whole camping thing, why people would leave the conveniences of modern life to live for a weekend or week among the trees or next to a river, and yet when I reluctantly participated I did feel revitalized. These days waking up in the morning and climbing out of a sleeping bag is not my thing but I still require reconnection with nature. Walking in the early morning hours, sitting out on the deck listening to the birds as they twitter among themselves preparing for the day, and watching my puppies play in the yard is vital to my existence. I never knew how much until recently; I felt disconnected from the earth, from nature, from the God-breathed creation that brings the groundedness from which mankind was formed.
God has given us the four elements of nature for purpose, to use as we reconnect with our spiritual essence. We need each of them as we are formed and refined by each; earth, water, air, and fire. Earth, the most abundant of the elements is our grounding, our foundation, and the fertility from which all things grow. Water purifies and heals. Each time we immerse ourselves in water we are baptizing ourselves, washing away life’s impurities. Air symbolizes the breath of God, the elusive force breathed into all of creation. Biblically, the air or wind is one of the symbolic references to the Holy Spirit. Fire is a frightening element, powerful, destructive and purifying at the same time. Fire is also the spark within, igniting our personalities and giving our souls depth. The four elements lead us to Spirit to remind us of our Divine essence, who we are, and Who holds us. The elements beckon to us when we are wrapped up in the artificial world of technology, cyberspace, all that is superficial and temporal; the elements beckon our return, if only for a moment, to that which we are.
When we are feeling out of sorts, irritated for no reason, disconnected, the elements call to us to reclaim our groundedness. We can tap into the elements through a walk in the park being mindful and aware of the sights, smells, and sounds of the elements as they mingle and intersect. Dip into a pool, lake, or the ocean and allow the water to wash away the impurities of daily life. Feel the ground between the toes digging into the earth element. We are not separate from the elements, we are the elements…..