“Of all the elements, the Sage should take water as his preceptor. Water is yielding but all conquering. Water extinguishes Fire,
Or finding itself likely to be defeated, escapes as steam and
Water washes away Soft Earth, or, when confronted by rocks, seeks
a way around.
Water corrodes Iron till it crumbles to dust; it saturates the
So that Wind dies. Water gives way to obstacles with deceptive
For no power can prevent it following its destined course to the
Water conquers by yielding; it never attacks but always wins the
The Sage who makes himself as Water is distinguished for his
He embraces passivity, acts from non-action and conquers the world.”
Eleventh century A.D.
In Chinese medicine, each season has an element that governs it. The element Water rules the season of Winter. “Water ascends to fullness in the frost of winter as plants submerge their energy into their roots, animals thicken their hides, and ponds harden into ice. Movement slackens as matter and energy concentrate.” (Harriet Beinfield, Between Heaven and Earth) Chinese Medicine teaches that to be healthy, we need to live harmoniously with nature. To be in harmony with Winter is to behave like Water does in the Wintertime. It is time to slow down and to cultivate stillness in our daily lives.