Last night I had the privilege of being out in one of nature's most perfect creations--the summer storm. Summer storms are a complete sensory experience, and combine the 4 elements perfectly. To understand the value of something we tend to take for granted, we need to explore our senses and the elements and how they all come into play in this grand display of the power of nature.
The four elements are air, fire, water, and earth. Air comes into play first, using a breeze or wind to usher in the storm and to keep it moving along. As the cooler air of the storm meets the warm stagnant air, fire makes its entrance, sending dazzling whips of lightning across the sky and to the ground, where it combines with earth to make the sound of thunder. Water pours from the sky as rain, and combines with earth to sustain it. All four elements are completely in harmony for the short duration of the storm.
But how do we fully experience the storm and all its wonders? It requires the use of every one of our senses. Smell--Close your eyes and breathe deeply the smell of the warm, damp earth. This is one of life's greatest simple pleasures. Sight--Open your eyes up again and watch as sheets of rain come to the ground and lightning dances across the sky. Simply take in the wondrous sights. Hearing--Listen to the rhythmic pattering of the rain on the earth, interrupted here and there by the boom of the power of nature made manifest in thunder. Taste--Turn your face up to the rain. Allow it to pour over your face. Either catch raindrops on your tongue, or lick them off your lips. Savor the flavor of the storm. Touch--Feel the cool wetness of the rain on your warm skin, and then notice the feel of the breeze as it glides over the water, cooling your body.
Allow yourself to experience all of your senses on alert and in harmony with the elements in the storm. Be a part of nature while you simply experience the storm. Done correctly, it is akin to a state of nirvana, or enlightenment. A total calm, a total peace, a reconnect with nature.