Beyond Civilization

The light is changing.

As it does, a new growing season begins to unfold.

This is the year of change, as more and more people realize, that civilization, as we have come to know it in these past decades, holds little hope of holding together.

Willow basket making Feb  Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage I do not say this lightly and the reasons I see for it are manifold, but the main contributors to the calamitous and increasing loss of habitat and stable environment on the planet, is civilization itself!

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 005 Our civilization has created the perfect conditions for collapse of the very systems that sustain us.

Bealtaine Cottage FairyWe have watched the collapse of the financial world over the past few years.

There is no recovery!

Have you joined the endless queues in your local bank recently, just to be served?

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 007Governments, like mine here in Ireland, are extracting carbon taxes from impoverished people and are not planting trees! Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureExtreme weather events are fast becoming an accepted part of our weather systems…have you noticed?

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 005 If you know how the Jet Stream works, or should work, then you will be aware of the reasons why climate change is happening.

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageQuote science for or against and waste time debating…or simply look around you and keep a weather diary.

Shabby chic at Bealtaine CottageSo, as always with my writing, I move onto the positive, the can-do…and what comes to mind is a simple skills set, that we need to acquire, if we are to move beyond the last years of civilization as we know it.

Permaculture Cottage ...September 2011 005These are skills we need to acquire and pass on to younger members of our society…the ones who will be left adrift, without the security blanket we have used and abused.

May 2011 Bealtaine 040

  • Food growing
  • Healthcare…basic first aid! can you prevent someone from bleeding to death or help deliver a baby?
  • Craft skills…how to make and create from local resources.
  • Building and construction, as well as maintenance to keep a home dry, for example!
  • Cooking and baking…Home economics is so degraded now in general education, I wonder why?
  • Permaculture…encompasses all the skills listed here!
  • Fire-making…few young people know where to start and the basics!
  • Management of resources (NOT financial!)
  • Herbs and the vital role they play in good health, food and body-care.
  • Conflict resolution and society building without hierarchy.
  • Basic mechanics…look how people in poorer societies keep their cars on the road!

permaculture cottage Jul 2011 014

It’s time to start putting plans in place for a better world.

June 2011 Bealtaine Permaculture 063The politicians are not bothered about our future, but we should be!

Writing, Posting and Sharing…


    • Dear Liliana,
      I use 4ozs of fat, 4ozs sugar, 8ozs SR flour and 2 eggs…mix up and add whatever I have to hand, such as cinnamon, spices, fresh orange, fruit, nuts…just add lots of good stuff and bake until done!
      Colette X

  1. More words of wisdom and inspiring photography. Thank you in particular for the image of Rose Elliot’s Cheap and Easy book. I was looking for a good basic vegetarian cook book and this just now led me to buy a download copy which I expect to make extensive use of.

    • One of the very best…you will not be disappointed! I have used her recipes for years! Rose cooks and writes in a fuss-free, practical and easy to follow way!
      Blessings X Colette

  2. You remind me of Manasobu Fukuoka’s book “The One Straw Revolution”. If you haven’t read it, do. It’s right up your street and it was written in 1978. Simplem agriculture. He says it took him 30 years to achieve this simplicity. Nice thought. A most inspiring book


  3. Wonderful. Thank you for continuing to share your ideas and simple ways we can each choose to make a different. Sometimes it seems there is so much we should be doing, it’s hard to know where to start. And your photos, as always, calm and soothe. I especially love the pewter fairy, the pond with the triple spiral on the stone, and the moon in the sky. What is the story behind the little bear? Did you make him?

  4. great piece stating the obvious for all those out there blinded by commercialism and politicians.We must have the strength and fortitude to lead by example and share our skills. Earth’s resources must be protected

  5. Spot on. It is with a heavy heart that I have to agree with your view of civilisation. Government and corporations will never respond and do the ‘right thing’, not until it’s far too late. 🙁

  6. Well said! And I love the list, so empowering.
    Governments want us to be powerless consumers. It keeps us in our place, and we have to work hard to pay for all those “things” that we don’t need, and when we work hard and earn all that money, we pay all that TAX. That is what governments are after. I remember a few years ago, one of the MP’s said that grandparents weren’t fit people to look after their grandchildren, and that they should be farmed out to child minders. What they didn’t like of course was that the grandparents were probably doing it for free. Just look at the scam. A woman goes to work and earns x amount, on which she pays tax. She then pays a third or half of her wages to a child minder who then pays more tax from the same money pot. I know we have to pay for services, but it all goes way beyond that.

  7. Thank you for another thoughtful post. I was on a similar train of thought the other day but there is only one item I would add to your list — an art. By which I really mean the ability to actively and richly entertain ourselves rather than trading money to be passively entertained. I think it is the grown up version of the difference between a child that is bored with hundreds of dollars of toys and games and a child that is happily building a fort of sticks and mud.

Your comments are welcome!