A Blustery Day By Beryl McCandless

I wasn’t sure how to present our Air Element for this month’s blog. How does one language the unseen without reverting to objectifying its living essence? Collaborating with this living sentient intelligence through direct experience speaks into what we are going to explore together. Having said this, I’ll invite you to relax, and come on a journey with me to Ireland.Imagine a group of 8 Questers arriving in Ireland. It’s the middle of November 2000. ‘Americans are a mad lot.’ That’s Irish for Crazy Americans. Who else would come to visit Ireland in November? I was one of those creatures, a participant in one of Tantra’s Vision Quests.

We had spent a part of the day hiking and were now being deposited by van at the Cliffs of Moher. Leaden clouds pressed in upon us. The temperature ran to bone cold and damp as only Ireland can be. At least the drizzle of rain had momentarily abated. Despite the forecast I was giddy that we had made it to the cliffs. Though the body was in the throes of fatigue I and the others headed out to take in the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the stunning beauty of the cliffs themselves. Standing in the buffeting winds I heard the roar of the white capped waves far below, and drank in the sight of the majestic formations of the rocks.

Eyes watering, lungs tingling I found myself ‘in connection with’ land and sea and sky. Heart thudding, pulse pounding I was present to a perfect moment of being whole and complete, in union with Life.

Suddenly the winds kicked up. Hair swirling, nose numbing, my rain gear plastering to my body, I had a sense of being hugged and tickled all at once. Another gust turned me around. I saw my new friends nearby. Grins were cracking wide open. We all were bumped a few more inches along. Laughter bubbled up and out. I had the urge to shout “I’m alive, I’m alive!” 

I leaned into the wind as another gust buffeted me. I was being supported at an angle that seemed impossible! The delight of my 4 year old girl self burst out to play. I ran over and grabbed the hand  of my friend Terry. We took off and joined the rest of the group. Shouting with childlike enthusiasm and laughter we twirled then took turns leaning into the wind. We accepted the invitation of the Air element to play with us. I felt as if I was a sea gull, a kite, a cloud!

Tantra watched our spontaneous antics. She shared with us later sitting by the fire that she had heard a group of 5 tourists ask each other “What ARE they doing?” They, meaning us, as we were playing with the wind. To paraphrase she simply said that we were playing and feeling alive. The 5 tourists had joined us, giving themselves permission to experience their own sense of alive-ing and being connected with another in the field.

Air as wind cleanses gives us access to expansiveness. It energizes and invigorates. It calms the mind, and clears our heavy emotional energies. It’s both subtle and direct, warming and cooling, comforting and soothing. It dances, howls, twists, and erodes. Oxygen holds us in a way that is vital and essential for life. We become the vessel, the container, as we inhale and then empty out as we exhale ready to hold more. Through this parasympathetic activity we are inner connected with Nature, others and Life.

 I invite you to put your attention on your breath. Breathe in through your nose, hold in the pause, then breathe out through your mouth. Feel your lungs and belly expand, then empty. Breathe again and be present to the air/oxygen element that sustains and maintains you as you experience being human, the formless in form.  

To join Curiodyssey for the Air Element event, click here: