|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from My Antonia by Willa Cather:
out into the wilderness to find a place where they could worship
God in their own way, the members of the first exploring party,
crossing the plains to Utah, scattered sunflower seed as they went.
The next summer, when the long trains of wagons came through with all
the women and children, they had the sunflower trail to follow.
I believe that botanists do not confirm Fuchs's story, but insist that
the sunflower was native to those plains. Nevertheless, that legend
has stuck in my mind, and sunflower-bordered roads always seem
to me the roads to freedom.
I used to love to drift along the pale-yellow cornfields,
looking for the damp spots one sometimes found at their edges,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Mosses From An Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
"Now for my task," said he. "Never did I feel such strength for
it as now."
Yet, strong as he felt himself, he was incited to toil the more
diligently by an anxiety lest death should surprise him in the
midst of his labors. This anxiety, perhaps, is common to all men
who set their hearts upon anything so high, in their own view of
it, that life becomes of importance only as conditional to its
accomplishment. So long as we love life for itself, we seldom
dread the losing it. When we desire life for the attainment of an
object, we recognize the frailty of its texture. But, side by
side with this sense of insecurity, there is a vital faith in our
Mosses From An Old Manse
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sanitary and Social Lectures by Charles Kingsley:
or what does duty for it; and by the ugly and useless hat which is
stuck upon it, making the head thereby look ridiculously large and
heavy; and by the high heels on which they totter onward, having
forgotten, or never learnt, the simple art of walking; their
bodies tilted forward in that ungraceful attitude which is called-
-why that name of all others?--a "Grecian bend;" seemingly kept on
their feet, and kept together at all, in that strange attitude, by
tight stays which prevented all graceful and healthy motion of the
hips or sides; their raiment, meanwhile, being purposely misshapen
in this direction and in that, to hide--it must be presumed--
deficiencies of form. If that chignon and those heels had been
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain:
So we kept a-gazing. Pretty soon Tom says:
"Huck, there's something mighty curious about this one,
don't you know? IT oughtn't to be going around in the daytime."
"That's so, Tom--I never heard the like of it before."
"No, sir, they don't ever come out only at night--
and then not till after twelve. There's something
wrong about this one, now you mark my words. I don't
believe it's got any right to be around in the daytime.
But don't it look natural! Jake was going to play deef
and dumb here, so the neighbors wouldn't know his voice.
Do you reckon it would do that if we was to holler at it?"