discover the 4 elements

Traveling around the world to discover the 4 elements

The 4 natural elements: Water, earth, air and fire, I had never thought I could experience them intensely and identify them. And like the Greek philosophers, the New Zealand Maori, the Inca, the Maya and all the primordial traditions I have learned to venerate, fear and respect them during my years of travel. Countries completely different from each other, different traditions and cultures in which these elements have somehow accompanied me and of which I have rediscovered their vital importance by reviewing their role and reevaluating them for what they are: vital.

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Discovering the 4 natural elements while traveling around the world


Water was the first element I discovered.
During my trip to Central America I rediscovered water in its different forms, the placid and tranquil gods Caribbean and the impetuous and fearsome one of the Pacific Ocean and above all as an essential source of life given the high temperatures and the risk of dehydration.
The power of the ocean, this expanse of water always rippling with waves that manifest themselves with roars when they crash onto the shoreline, has awakened in me a sense of impotence and strength as had never happened before.
I was in Costa Rica where I was trying to surf, there I was afraid of the sea for the first time. The high waves and the undertow that seemed to want to suck me in made me hold on tightly to my board as if I never wanted to get rid of it again.
In El Salvador I saw two girls die in those same waters of a sea that is not so peaceful, drowned due to the strong currents that never let you return to shore.
I was no longer in the calm Caribbean sea where the water is transparent and you would still see well even without a mask, a flat blue table populated with colorful tropical fish that approach us with a curious manner, a world so different from the furious ocean that it seems to want to overwhelm everything, which is tireless and which retreats twice a day and then takes back the beach which has barely had time to dry in the sun. The sea eats and the sea leaves, overwhelms.

discover the 4 elements


In South America, however, I rediscovered the land, the pacha mama of the Incas, the one to whom as a sign of respect you give something to drink by pouring a splash of water or whatever ring you have in your hand. This apparently immobile mass that I discover instead breathes and moves slowly but with great strides.
In Argentina at the Ishigualasto national park I breathed the air of living rocks in the land of dinosaurs. Millions of years told on the surfaces of mountains laminated by rain and wind, canyons hundreds of meters high born from the collusion of geographical faults, stories of prehistoric animals that lived in what is now a desert and which millions of years ago was a tropical area.


L’aria..How could I ever experience air?
Flying, skydiving perhaps. So I find out in Bolivia which means you don’t have enough air to cover more than 100 metres, that the lack of oxygen robs you of energy and causes severe headaches. Based on the amount of oxygen available, my lifestyle has also changed. Small steps, short walks, coca leaves in the mouth to avoid falling into deep and unexpected sleep. In this country I have given value to this imperceptible but vital element.


How many times have I been in places without electricity where the only light available was the timid one of the stars which indicate the direction to those who navigate but whose strength is simply not sufficient to find one’s home if one did not have a lit candle in one’s hand whose flame helps you return to your bed.
But if this flame was providential on several occasions, I had the real experience of fire at my home in Sicily.
In fact, it happened that just when I returned home for a few weeks, the same place that saw me grow and that I have always taken for granted gave me a show for a few. Etna, the volcano with which we Sicilians have always lived and which over the years has never stopped erupting. A few days after my return, one of the most beautiful eruptions of the last 10 years erupts and in a few hours this river of fire flows like an unstoppable liquid that drags everything away and burns. And from the depths of the earth a disturbing roar comes making me feel small and helpless in the face of what nature can do and that we can hardly face.

In these two years of travel I have come to the conclusion that we have created our own gods, that we have reached the point that we want to look beyond what is in front of our eyes, forgetting that we are not the strongest.
We take the sea, the mountains, the sun for granted, we no longer venerate them as if our life were not strictly dependent on the moods of this strange world that decides on us and that we should respect and love as a child does with his mother, adopting the philosophy of surfers who challenge the sea but respect it and sometimes are afraid of it.

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