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An Elemental Spectrum


Yesterday was ice; today, we will slowly make our way back to fire.

Here, spring is the season when the elements hold sway over even the smallest aspects of our lives, and the elemental powers with them: A high near eighty one day can revert to lows in the teens in the space of a single day; brilliant sun can give way to ice and snow and then return in the company of warm winds, all in the hours between dawn and dusk.

On this morning, the cold is reluctant to leave, borne on the same northeast wind that blew all night. Still, yesterdays’ snow flurries and sleet pellets have long since melted into the thirst earth, and the rime of ice on the pond’s surface will melt beneath the sun’s gentle urging soon enough. Meanwhile, the white light of yesterday donned crimson robes this morning, a few lagging and lambent clouds backlit by dawn’s rising fire.

The scarlet flames in the eastern sky inhabited, for a moment, that electric space on an elemental spectrum: of black and white, day and night, fire and ice.

And so, today’s featured work turns out to be especially apt for this day, a morning suddenly much colder than in recent weeks, when the warmth of the sun seems still far removed. From its description in the relevant section of the Bracelets Gallery here on the site:

Fire and Ice Cuff Bracelet

In the interstices inhabited by the elemental powers, Spirit catalyzes fire and ice, bringing them to life in our world, their full strength and power yet held back: a reminder that if we are careful, we may use their gifts rather than be consumed by them. Here, Spirit’s Eye traces the length of the band of this heavy-gauge cuff, accented on all sides by traditional symbols. At the center, two fiery garnet cabochons flank three larger oval stones: snowflake obsidian, representations of ice born naturally of the union of earth and heat and flame. Companion piece to the Fire and Ice solitaire ring in the Rings Gallery.

Sterling silver; snowflake obsidian; garnet
$725 + shipping, handling, and insurance

As this work reminds us, we mere mortals remain at the mercy of more elemental powers. Those of us who live in regions ruled by climatic and weather extremes know this well: However much we may like to believe that we have harnessed the forces of nature, trained them to the traces or brought them to heel, there is only so much that we control. The temperature, the wind, the rain, the storm — these are not among them. In this place, at least, spring reminds of us this yearly. It is a season for humbling, for stripping humanity of its hubris . . . and sometimes, of depriving us of the light to which we have become accustomed long enough to send us searching for its in its other guises.

This is a difficult season, this line of uneasy demarcation between winter and summer, between cold and warmth, between ice and fire. But it is a season that teaches us to navigate even the hardest path, beneath the light of an elemental spectrum.

~ Aji








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