Spent the day learning more about basketry in another great workshop organized by Tom Browne at Corrigeenroe near Boyle, here in County Roscommon.
I am tired, but looking forward to day 2 of the willow weaving and basketry, tomorrow.
This is a fabulous, fabulous hen basket woven by Tom, to transport hens in…isn’t this just the best looking and most practical basket you ever did see? It has a gorgeous little door on the front and will hold several hens in pure comfort.
Something worth mentioning is the fact that the hen basket is a completely unique design…Tom’s own craft-work! Admired for sure and perhaps copied as well!
The beginnings of another basket..
Tea…hot, comforting tea…and a chance to put my feet up and contemplate my endeavours…I shall dream of willow and baskets and patterns and possibilities…
I adore Robert Frost and his poetry…this is one of my favourites…I was reciting this in my head as I drove home from Corrigeenroe tonight…
It is, perhaps, one of the most philosophical poems I have ever read and loved!
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
― Robert Frost
“By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place n the iron dark of the world.”
― Cormac McCarthy, All The Pretty Horses
Little bits of work has been done over the course of the day, including cleaning out the hen-house and continuing to cut willow.
“Dang! Look at that RAINBOW!” Piper shouted, accidently spewing bits of apple pie from her overstuffed mouth. All quickly turned and saw…
…exactly what Piper claimed, a rainbow.”
― Victoria Forester, The Girl Who Could Fly
This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
And so do I;
When beeches drip in browns and duns,
And thresh and ply;
And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe,
And meadow rivulets overflow,
And drops on gate bars hang in a row,
And rooks in families homeward go,
And so do I.”
― Thomas Hardy
GEORGE ELIOT, Adam Bede
In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin’s breast;In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove;In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
ALFRED, Lord TENNYSON, Locksley Hall
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The stretch in the days is quite tangible…it remained light until after 5:30 today. Yesterday I wrote about the frogs in the lower pond and the frog-spawn therein…so, yes, Spring is creeping in!
I lit the stove here in the sitting room earlier as I intend to curl up with a glass of home-made vino and a book…
I am reading all about the reign of Elizabeth 1st…a formidable woman who lived in dangerous times in a world dominated by man! This biography is the best to date that I have read…it’s alive!
Just two oranges remain from the Christmas fruit bowl and these will be finished off tonight. Oranges are a treat as I get most of my daily Vitamin C from the ample supply of frozen blackcurrants I keep in the freezer from the summer harvest here at Bealtaine.
Modern man is alienated from himself, from his fellow men, and from nature. He has been transformed into a commodity, experiences his life forces as an investment which must bring him the maximum profit obtainable under existing market conditions.
– Erich Fromm (1900–1980), The Art of Loving, 1957
Willow continues to be harvested for basket making this Spring.
Today is yet another mild day, warm for the month of January!
The real unseasonal surprise was yet to be found…further down the gardens…
As I walked down through the gardens towards the ponds, I heard frogs, croaking…
now, this has got to be a first…
Frog’s spawn…it’s hard to believe that this is happening so soon in the year, still in the third week of January 2012!
“Is it all worth it? If we do our best to heal the Earth and make our place in her a sustainable one, is there a good chance that we will succeed?…to my mind that’s the wrong question. Even if we could answer it – and we can never know anything about the future for certain, it would beg the question How do I want to live my life? So my answer to the question..is that I want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem”.
Patrick Whitefield ‘Earth Care Manual’
Standing stones and bamboo today in the Bealtaine gardens.
Moss is slowly creeping over the top of the stone.
-Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), Violence, 1969
Spring is making an early entrance into the west of Ireland.
Euphorbia is developing it’s flowers…we could see an early display of flowers.
Over recent days I have spread 3 tons of local gravel. When I bought this old cottage almost 8 years ago, there was a need for a road into the land. Bealtaine sits back on the hill about 150 metres back.
Gravel is an excellent medium for a lot of plants to grow through, like the Valerian emerging here along the back of the Eco-Lodge. Rubus edges the path in a natural fashion and determines the size of the path, thus saving gravel spread.
It’s time to start sowing seeds, especially if you have a propagator. Light has returned and there is a definite stretch in the days.
The signs of spring are to be found everywhere. Daffodils are up really early and buds are starting to thicken on the lower bushes.
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.”
– Albert Camus
The Blackbird sits atop the Ash tree in the hedge, enjoying the morning sun.
Lots of food remains in the tunnel. If you grow anything this year, let it be Chard…so very easy to grow and so full of vitamins. It’s colourful and looks lovely planted in flower beds and pots!
In a matter of weeks, the orchard will break into blossom and all will be the promise of abundance! It’s not too late to plant apple and pear trees.
Awoke to a glorious morning and a warm, sunny day! Seriously!
I was expecting a delivery of gravel to top-dress the driveway after seven years of wear and tear!
I spent some time harvesting willow, as you can see from the pic.
As I waited, I decided to go for a walk around the gardens, followed by Missy!
I try to post a blog from Bealtaine every day…sometimes this can prove impossible, but according to the WordPress Stats., just issued :
In 2011, there were 357 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 645 posts.
The busiest day of the year was December 7th with 648 views. The most popular post that day was Christmas Hearts and Bird’s Nests….
Missy was happy to follow me around the gardens at the front of Bealtaine.
Buds are thickening, birds singing and daffodils ready to open…it is strange to see!
I came across this wonderful piece of writing yesterday and tried to tweet parts of it, but anyway, here it is in full! It spoke to me deep in my heart…
|“Now we are at the very end of our trail. Many people no longer recognize the true path of the Great Spirit. They have, in fact, no respect for the Great Spirit, or for our precious mother earth, who gives us all life.|
We were instructed in our ancient prophecy that this would occur. We were told that someone would try to go up to the moon; that they would bring something back from the moon; and after that, nature would show signs of loosing its balance. Now we see that coming about. All over the world there are now signs that nature is no longer in balance. Floods, droughts, earthquakes and great storms are occurring and causing much suffering……
There are many of you in this world who are honest people. We know you spiritually for we are the ‘Men’s Society Grandfathers’ who have been charged to pray for you and all life on earth, never forgetting anything or anyone in our ceremonials. Our prayer is to have a good happy life, with plenty of soft, gentle rain for abundant crops. We pray for balance on earth to live in peace and leave a beautiful world to the children yet to come. We know you have good hearts but good hearts are not enough to help us out with these great problems.
So many people have come to us to Hopiland to meet with us. Some of you we have met on your lands. Many times people have asked how they can help us. Now I hope and pray that your help will come. If you have a way to spread the truth, through newspapers, radio, books, through meeting with powerful people – tell them the truth! Tell them what you know to be true. Tell them what you have seen here; what you have heard us say; what you have seen with your own eyes. In this way, if we do fall, let it be said that we tried, right up to the end, to hold fast to the path of peace as we were originally instructed by the Great Spirit. Should you really succeed, we will realize our mistakes of the past and return to the true path – living in harmony as brothers and sisters, sharing our mother, the earth, with all other living creatures.
In this way we could bring about a new world. A world which would be led by the Great Spirit, and in which our Mother will provide plenty and happiness for all.”
– Chief Dan Evahema of the Tradi
The driveway is in need of that gravel, for sure!
|“Love all of God’s creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you have perceived it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day, and you will come at last to love the world with an all-embracing love.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevski
We are what we eat.
The words of Albert Einstein resonate more today than ever before…
“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self.
We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.”