We give thanks to the people of air. The cool breath that reaches across my face, wiping me clean of strangeness and personal memory. With an unthinking motion, I inhale, absorbing cool sweetness, expanding my hard working pink tissues to the brink of collapse; but they don’t, they work without thought, an endless series of mechanical reactions…until the end. Until this body is no more. In this moment, air, the sweet cold air moves upon me. Shocking these cold wrinkled fingers with its bite. Bringing these almond eyes to tears. I bite my tongue to keep from complaining. I need you. And with this remembrance, this most basic of realizations so easily forgotten, I behold magnificence, filling every cell with your grace. The oxygen I inhale, the carbon I release. The invisible substance I move through to place a silvery sage leaf upon your altar. You, who are essential …please accept this gift as a token of our gratitude.
We give thanks to the people of fire…orange sparks burst from the earth as I speak your splendor, surrounding me within a flaming sacred circle. With a roar of delight and crackling embers, I reach down to leave a small plastic fire truck upon your altar. The heat of the sun breaks through the stubborn thickness of clouds and a warm soft hand comes to rest upon my cheek. For your light, for your nourishment, we give thanks. Red and orange tendrils have taken the place of my hair. The flames move like electric snakes on a rampage of destruction, twisting and darting, trashing wildly, but never quite escaping. The people of fire, the light…the energy. Without you, we cannot eat. Without you, we cannot see. For your energy…please accept this gift as a token of our gratitude.
We give thanks to the people of water. I stand before your sacred symbol, attentive and open. My chest begins to slowly sway, evoking gentle ocean movements…I become you…I am you…soft, dark and slow moving. The succulents that adorn our walkways are juicy with your gifts. We drink your seed. We feast on the plants that contain your qualities- pink and orange, red and green, there is nothing without you. We drip with your subtle gestures. Rain. Dew. The liquid in this garden hose. The overwhelming mass of this biological machine. A pile of dust would quickly form, but for your gracious, unending presents… please accept this gift as a token of our gratitude
We give thanks to the people of stone…beneath my feet, you are there, solid and heavy. Red mountains and smooth desert stones that reach with unseen hands to the stars. This orb of soil, rock, and matter. Finely ground into powder, you resemble my ash. You are weight. The ground where we build, the soil we tend. In your womb, we dwell. We rest and love and eat upon you. Seemingly unchanging, but containing all the lessons of patience…for you crack as well. You spew and shift, like all the creatures that sit upon you. Solid and moving. For your home… for the inhabitants that tickle and destroy upon you…please accept this gift as a token of our gratitude.
We give thanks to Spirit. Who runs through and across, weaving tendrils of blue light through the dense world of stone and into the invisible landscapes of air. May the result of this small effort be for the benefit of all beings everywhere.