Reacquaintance, by Kathleen Oxley
Air . . .
Melinda smiled as the storm raged against the shore. The wind whipped her skirt around her legs and her hair thrashed her face. She closed her eyes and stretched open her arms. The air circled her until she felt it would lift her off the ground. She opened her eyes and glanced down to confirm that her toes were still digging into the sand.
She fleetingly wished she could be inside, enjoying the storm through the protection of walls and windows. But she quickly erased that thought from her mind and instead she concentrated on her task for the night. She turned her face up to the sky and opened her senses to the space around her - the salty smell of the beach that carried in the air and the sharp sting as it berated her skin.
She lost herself to the sensations until the air calmed and became only a slight breeze off the water.
Fire . . .
Melinda spent the cool Spring day collecting twigs and dried leaves for kindling. At dusk, as the blanket of darkness grew closer, she knelt inside the circle of stones and watched as the flame slowly grew. She stayed close even as the fire raged to life.
Leaning back on her heels, she stared into the hazy mix of red, yellow and orange. Tears pooled in her eyes from the heat and smoke, but her vision became clearer. Images flashed in the fire – of past, present or future, she did not know. She watched them closely, paying attention to every detail until they slowed and then disappeared.
After several minutes of silence, Melinda closed her eyes and thanked the Goddess for her visions. She moved out of the circle of stones, cheeks flushed red from the heat of being so close, and followed the dirt path back to her home.
Water . . .
Reaching the shore, Melinda undid the sash of her robe and let it fall to the ground. She walked naked toward the ocean. She reached the edge of the water and let the white foam tickle the tops of her feet. The brief rush of water was cold and she shivered as she followed the receding wave back into the water. Her body chilled as the level rose higher, but she continued walking until it lapped at her shoulders. She stood for several minutes, moving her arms and legs absently, until her body adjusted to the temperature.
She shifted so that she floated on top of the waves. She spread her limbs and let the current carry her. She sighed at the freedom of the water cradling and holding her. She splayed her fingers and moved her arms in close to her body and then stretched out again, letting the water flow through her fingers as she did. Totally at ease, Melinda closed her eyes and drifted. Her mind cleared of all thoughts and worries as her body rose and fell on the small waves, wetness tickling the skin of her belly and breasts.
Earth . . .
The strong scent of earth rose as she dug her spade into the dirt. Melinda was in her backyard, tending to her garden. Some might consider the many beds luxurious, but Melinda saw them as merely the basics that she required. She grew flowers for their beauty, herbs for her medicines and spells, and vegetables for eating. She wore no gloves and didn't shy away from getting her hands dirty. She lovingly inspected each plant, weeding the flowerbeds and trimming the herbs as she went along. Then she planted new seeds for vegetables for the summer - mostly cucumbers, lettuce and carrots.
She put the last seeds into the ground and patted the soil as she covered them. She filled her copper watering can and wet each of the beds. Melinda stood back and smiled at the results of her hard work. She brushed dirt off of her clothes and stared at her hands. She smiled at the dirt-stained skin and at the soil under her fingernails. To her they were the signs of a job well done and of a union with the earth and the plants she tended.
Spirit . . .
Melinda awoke filled with a new-found strength. Getting back to the basics always left her feeling clean and refreshed. She gathered her tools, including her boline, several crystals and candles, and packed them up. She couldn't wait to join the rest of her coven for the Beltane festival. Now she could face the ritual, and the year ahead, balanced and centered.