The lovely Edith O’Nuallain posted this great review of Water, Wind, Earth & Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements to Story Circle Network:
In her book Water, Wind, Earth and Fire, author and contemplative artist Christine Valters Paintner explores the four natural elements named in the title and traditionally associated with ancient philosophies and nature-based religions. Paintner examines each element in turn as a metaphor for the myriad ways spiritual seekers can learn to connect with the divine matrix and unfathomable mysteries which fill the earth we walk upon.
Hence, this book is primarily about learning to see. Within its pages we are offered new ways of looking at the world. Instead of seeing only the superficial and obvious, Paintner teaches us to look lovingly into the depths of a shimmering world which is constantly shifting and changing. The rhythms and cycles of nature are a recurring theme throughout this book. Indeed, a major component of the contemplative work in which Paintner engages incorporates a deep resonance and response to these ever-changing rhythms—the cycles of our days and nights, weeks and months, seasons, and even our very breaths. In this way, the author shares her understanding of a world filled with the rising and falling of a never-ending, eternal dance of love and loss, pain and pleasure, desire and absence—both poles pointing to the dynamic tensions which underlie our daily existence, including that between our inner spiritual journey and the outer landscapes we inhabit.