But there were times when we sat around and talked, amidst bonfires at the Indiana Dunes or late night evenings eating chocolate and drinking Mountain Dew, and our games became more thought-provoking. And in these moments, the games delved into character questions with answers giving insight into our personalities and dreams.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
If you were a color, what color would you be?
If you were a character in a book, who would you be?
I remember the responses provoked laughter and demanded explanation at some point. It was childish fun. But it opened up doors to more conversation and made us think about who were were and who we hoped to become -- and why. Amazingly, I still play this game on occasion. Playing it shines a light on the truths and natures of the people close to me. It gives me a peak inside their souls. And, if I answer a question, I allow them a peak into mine.
So here's the latest question. It you were an Element, what would you be? A friend presented this question the other night and it made me think.
My first response was to describe a characteristic ... a driving force of my nature. Ah ... but that wasn't the real question. And no, I'm not talking about the Periodic Table either, so don't go digging that out. This question is more basic than that and considering my response truly made me dive deeper into my psyche and the driving force of my fundamental self.
I made a discovery ... something I should have seen a long time ago.
Funny how simple questions between friends do that.
So, back to this question. Play along with me, okay. Elements are defined (for my purposes today) as Earth, Wind, Fire and Water.
Now, from a Zodiac perspective as a Moon Child or Cancer the Crab, my element is Water. In this context, water relates to emotions and feelings ... And, yes, I am receptive and keenly perceptive ... fluid and able to seep into typically inaccessible places, altering form as necessary (sometimes as vaporous as steam or as cold as ice) and responding to the needs of others and changing demands of life's events. The Water aspect of my nature makes me a Healer. I long to wash over hurt and pain. To ease people's hearts, bodies and souls.
However, as I considered the question more thoroughly, I have to admit that Water isn't my the fundamental Element of my deeper nature.
Water calms me. Water brings my blood pressure down. Storms excite me. Rainy days curled up with a book or some knitting are personal favorites. Walking in the rain ... kissing in the rain ... that makes me blissful. I have very fond memories of puddle stomping and spinning in crystalline raindrops. No umbrella necessary. I love the feel of rain on my skin.
Water soothes my soul. I adore the Ocean -- it's smell and the feel of it on my skin. Sitting on the deck in Key West surveying all that water eased my soul. I treasure many happy memories walking on sand, feeling the surf caress my feet. While traveling in Punta Cana, I found great joy floating on and diving into the warmth of salty aqua waves. I used to summer on a lake and one of my dearest memories of that place was laying on the pier and listening to the gentle rhythm of soft waves pulsing against the wood and poles beneath me. I felt it in the depths of my spirit.
But I am not Water. And that explains a lot. Water is my ease. It keeps me in check and in balance. It is necessary to me ... But water ebbs and flows. I don't. The tide comes in and out. I don't. I stand. I stay. I fight. When I feel, I feel deeply. And I don't back away.
I am Fire. I am Passion and Curiosity. I am Intense and rarely Calm. In fact, trying to be Calm is something I strive for but when I arrive at that even state, I'm restless and seeking.
I don't mean to -- believe me when I say it is unintentional, but sometimes my Fire blazes through people. I'm not easy going. I'm not great at going along with something I don't agree with. I challenge. I seek to grow and become stronger. I question. I explore. I'm bright and sometimes I even feel the warmth emanating from my fingertips when I sit meditating before a yoga class. And I light up places where my flames travel. I shine the light on dark corners without fear. I burn.
Oh, sometimes my Fire comes back to bite me. I speak too quickly and offend. It's not intentional. I'm not the easiest person to get along with at times. I'm far too outspoken and passionate about my feelings, dreams, desires, thoughts and beliefs. I honor yours and your differences. I even seek to understand them. My words come from the heart. And my feelings are passionate.
I burn bright and I reach for the sky. In the immortal words of Alicia Keyes ... This Girl Is on Fire.
Wow. One simple question and I discovered all that. Thanks for asking ...
So ... what Element are you? And why?
Just curious ....