When is one at their best? Why, when they are in their element, of course.
What does it mean, then, to be in one's element? When are you in your element? When am I in mine?
What brings out the best in you? What would you describe as your ultimate circumstances, your most favorable light, your best accoutrements?
I often feel like that drab little pebble which was beautiful amid the interplay of sunlight and water, yet quickly becomes dreary and common and no more worthy than to be cast aside.
Ralph Waldo Emerson discusses this theme in a poem, entitled Each and All. The following is an excerpt:
All are needed by each one;
Nothing is fair or good alone.
The delicate shells lay on the shore;
The bubbles of the latest wave
Fresh pearls to their enamel gave,
And the bellowing of the savage sea
Greeted their safe escape to me.
I wiped away the weeds and foam,
I fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore
With the sun and the sand and the wild uproar.
I think I am in my element when I am in active roles as mother and grandmother. That is when I shine. I delight in delighting those around me, in meeting their needs, in bringing smiles and happy tummies and comfort and contentment. To paraphrase Browning, Children in the House, All's right with the World.
My personal challenge lies in finding other times and ways to sparkle. Perhaps being in our element isn't possible all the time, and indeed, may become old and weathered if it is too commonplace.
In looking toward our Savior, Jesus Christ for an example, we find that He was always in His element. He showed love and forgiveness and hope and encouragement and patience and kindness, and while doing so, radiated a heavenly light that never dimmed, never faded, never became dull nor drab nor dreary.
I know my independent, adult children really are living their lives as outstanding, productive young people, making good decisions and working hard to become educated and to support themselves. I couldn't be more proud. But I am also thankful that in some way, I believe, they will always need me.
As I will always need them.
They make me sparkle.
"All are needed by each one;
Nothing is fair or good alone."