I can’t remember when this all started, only that it feels like a lifetime. I used to be so fearful as a child, even now I struggle with fear. I used to fear what unspoken words people thought of me. I was insecure of more than my body but my personality. I grew up believing I was not good enough, not pretty enough, just not enough. This idea of not being worthy of a good life has followed me into adulthood, and here I am rewiring my mind. I was lonely as a kid being the youngest of three and my friends weren’t real friends, all I knew was my solitude.
I never went out much, locked in the confines of my bedroom. Even as I got the freedom to go out on my own, I always needed a partner because the thought of being alone in public overwhelmed me. I even locked myself in the confines of who I thought I was supposed to be, which in fact, my definition of that has always changed. I was living for other people feeling like I was tied up with barbed wire, never able to get out.
One day I learned of astrology, elements, magic, and spirituality. I learned that I myself am an air zodiac, a gemini to be exact. But I continued to ask myself, what does this mean? I dived into the world of spirituality and witchcraft without truly knowing me but the one thing I did know was how drawn I was to nature, the wind specifically captivated me. Maybe subconsciously I knew that one day the wind would find me. A google search led me to this definition, “air represents our mental activity such as intellect and the ability to reason, memory, thoughts, knowledge and comprehension. It also rules new beginnings, friendship, clarity, and positive expression.” (Air, 2019) Yet after reading this along with book after book I still never understood what this had to do with me. I craved clarity, no I hungered for clarity, thus embarking on my new and improved spiritual journey. I needed to break out of my comfort zone so I went out more, finding a spot where I can sit in meditation to gain knowledge. I did this for two years, seeking knowledge outside of myself. When I sat with nature, it was almost hostile how I tried to find concrete answers that I missed the message right in front of me.
One summer day in 2020, I sat alone on the overlook of the river in Inwood Hill Park. My phone was off and I removed my sandals to sit cross-legged. The sun was shining on to my skin but the breeze kept me cool. I closed my eyes, and I breathed, and for once my mind was blank, free of a single thought. The wind blew harder as I breathed deeper and I entered a state of bliss. This is when I learned the biggest lesson nature had to teach me. I opened my eyes and looked around: the trees, the rocks, the water, they were all just being. They don’t think about being a better tree or a stronger wave, they just do as they will. Then I thought, wow I have wasted so much time being someone I am not. Just as I thought all the messages came through for me, the wind had more for me. I watched how the wind slowed and sped. I watched how it changed direction without a single thought. I paid attention to how it felt as the wind blew past my skin and entered my lungs. I felt empowered. In that moment I realized, there is more than one path for me. That I have the power to live courageously and I am free to change as much or as little as I wish. The wind taught me the lesson of true presence and being. This is still a lesson I am trying to fully conceptualize for my human brain, but it is a lesson I will pass on for generations.
I wonder if others have been blessed enough to feel a connection so deep that their spirit is set free. The wind reminds me that I too am gentle, I too am strong, I too am free. The elements are so sacred to me because they have the power to destroy yet create. The earth has nurtured me when I can no longer bear the world society has claimed for me. When I don’t want to be a student, a friend, a daughter, a writer, the earth allows me to just be. Water has nourished me when I couldn’t do it myself. In this vulnerable space nature has held for me, it was water that reminded me to cry. Fire has empowered me, reminding me that I do not have to be small. That I can be fearless, powerful, and loving. But the wind, the wind has made me feel seen. When I sit on the soil of Gaia, the wind speaks to me to keep me company. The wind has liberated me from the energy stagnant within with its powerful breeze. The wind has awakened me. I will always remember being a young girl who used to fear the strong winds because I now know I used to walk against it. Now I am older and I walk with it, humming to sounds blowing through the city streets. I no longer make myself small to make others feel more comfortable. I am proud of who I am and I live intentionally in my ever changing truth. The wind taught me to drop my resistance to change within and around me. Now I allow myself evolution and because of this I breathe in filling my lungs with such gratitude because without oxygen I would suffocate.
I found truth. One that has reminded me of who I’ve always been, deep down where no one has seen. It brings me back to the life all around us, rather than life on a screen. It is the wind. I watch the birds glide through the skies playing with the currents of the wind and I long to be with them, to be like them. When I die, I want every inch of my spirit to be air, to be wind. If I am meant to come back as a physical manifestation, I wish to be a beautiful bird who is free to roam the world. I’d fly over oceans to meet the mountains grounded in the Swiss Alps. I’ll be free to roam as I please, the luxury feet can’t give me.
There’s more to this though, but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s beyond me, this feeling, it’s beyond this vessel that my spirit has chosen for me. I know deep down that I am one; I know deep down that I am air. I’m not only air but I am Earth, water, and fire wrapped up in flesh. I am, we all are, by nature grounded, ever changing, passionate, free beings. We have forgotten but I choose to dedicate my life to this truth for it is my own. My truth isn’t everyone’s truth, this the wind has reminded me of.
I know now that I am not only connected to the wind but that I am wind. I flow like wind, adapting to the world around me. The wind will blow harder and harder, entering my lungs to cleanse me so I can finally be free. As the wind sings to me, I move my feet dancing to the beat of it’s song.
Air, air Element, meaning of Air element. (2019, April 18). Retrieved March 18, 2021, from https://www.peacefulmind.com/project/air/#:~:text=Air%20represents%20our%20mental%20activity,%2C%20clarity%2C%20and%20positive%20expression.
About the Author
Ariel is a nineteen-year-old, latinx second generation American journalist/writer. As a witchcraft practitioner and spiritualist she focuses on diving into the world of the occult and sharing their stories. Along with that, she enjoys writing personal essays and short story fiction. Ariel is a certified bookworm, tree-hugger, and anime lover.
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