*This is an essay I wrote for my english class, and I missed full marks by a point. I thought I'd see what you guys think. Enjoy, and review, if you can :)*

The four primal elements, earth, water, fire, air, are the elements that the ancients believed in, not the modern elements of today. The primal elements fit together like a puzzle, centring on what the ancients believed was a fifth element: time.

I perceive these elements in a different way. To me, they seem like a family, their characteristics fitting with those of the father, the mother, the teenager and the youthful toddler.

Earth is solid and reliable; it is always there. You never have to worry about taking one more step and falling into nothing. Even if you fall off a cliff, eventually the earth will catch you. It can be hard as rock, or soft as dust; but it will never intentionally harm you, because earth was made to protect. The earth will only strike under provocation, just as any father would. Earth is the beginning and the end. You start as dust, and to dust will you return. The earth is an example of absolute limits: solid, unmoving and protecting.

Water is a difficult element to understand. It can be peaceful and calm, or raging and storming, with little or no provocation on your part. For the majority of the time, water is dispassionate and detached, as well as soothing. Water is unreadable; it will not allow you to see the swift currents and unreachable depths, instead showing you the calm fa├žade. It is changeable and flexible, able to work with an element or against, to keep the balance. There cannot be life without water, and so, water is the mother of life. Also, like a mother, water can be soothing and tender, or as dangerous as a boiling ocean.

Fire, the most passionate of the elements, is very difficult to define, just like its counteracting element (water). Fire goes where it wants. Devours anything and everything, acts impulsively and has a bite that is much worse than its bark. Who else but a teenager could possibly relate? With a hurt that is sudden and often fleeting, fire doesn't care for anything around it. Water might subdue it, and often works perfectly, but earth is the only element with the might to stop it. Fire is the light-giver, illuminating everything around it, even things that might not want to be illuminated. Fire destroys lives, but can also create new life. Modern teenagers are a perfect embodiment of this.

Air, light and ever-changing, is the most difficult element to contain. It has the largest variety of voices and emotions; it whispers, shrieks and laughs. You never quite know where you stand with air; nothing is solid or certain. You wouldn't know if you were being harmed, because the air doesn't fight directly, but prefers to use other things to destroy. Air can be calm and quiet one moment, and be raging and screaming in another. Air is the most childish of the elements, always flighty and playful. It is able to bring happiness and joy to anything; but, at no more than a whim, can tear down skyscrapers.

Choosing a favourite element would be like choosing whether you like your mother or your father more, or which sibling is your favourite. Every element appeals to a certain type of person, that element reflecting their personality. Whether you favour Father Earth, Mother Water, Elder Fire or Youthful Air (as are their rightful names), all demand respect and are masters of their domain. The question that must be asked is: do you have the stability of earth, the calming quality of water, the passion needed for fire or the youthful nature needed for air? Answer this, and you will recognise the element in your heart.