Wherever we travel in the world, the four elements are there in some form. Thomas Cook is having a photo contest with each of the four elements as a topic: earth, fire, air, and water. I couldn’t help but peruse through the files to see if I had something appropriate.
Earth: Rocky Mountains, British Columbia, Canada
Represents the hard, solid objects of the earth. Associated with stubbornness, collectiveness , physicality and gravity.
Despite mountains being an obvious choice to represent Earth, I still choose this photo of the Monashee Range of the Rocky Mountains in Canada, with Kinbasket Lake below. The mountains never fail to inspire awe in me, at their beauty, size, and majesty. Looking down the range like this, one can see more than just one mountain and get a glimpse at their vastness and permanence.
Fire: All Saints’ Day, Slovakia
Represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world. Associated with security, motivation, desire, intention, and an outgoing spirit.
On November 1 and 2, Slovaks flock to graveyards to light candles and place flowers in order to honour and remember the dead. It’s one of my favourite nights of the year, full of meaning and mystical beauty. Even though we think of death as grim, it can be a powerful motivation (and certainly an inevitable occurrence) to spend time with intention.
Air: Carpathian Mountains, Slovakia
Represents things that grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement. Associated with will, elusiveness, evasiveness, benevolence, compassion, and wisdom.
The air is practically visible with fog on this winter walk in the Slovak Carpathian Mountains. The trees form nature’s cathedral, ever reaching toward the sky with their branches. Growing upwards and expanding outwards with time, trees embodied wisdom and benevolence in Tolkien’s Ents.
Water: Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada
Represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world. Associated with emotion, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism.
Heraclitus said “No man steps in the same river twice,” using the ever changing river as an analogy to illustrate the nature of impermanence, that things are in constant flux and change. The water of the rushing Fraser River starts as a stream from melting snow and ice and travels through BC to end as a wide lazy river that empties into the Pacific Ocean.