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Living Lightly

Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

poster bealtaine

It’s amazing how much one can live without.

And how much criticism one gets for daring to leave the accepted standards for today’s society!

I made this poster less than 24 hours ago and posted it on Facebook and Twitter.

 The reasons why people feel the need to denigrate such a poster are very interesting indeed. 067There is an overwhelming need, in most people, to conform to what they imagine to be the accepted normal in society, be that politics, religion, diet, dress…etc.

laying a mosaic floor at Bealtaine CottageStepping outside of this normal can be an uncomfortable experience for most.

Mist and trees in the permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageMaking the decision to live outside of it, however, is the opposite!

It is truly liberating!

The Craft room at Bealtaine CottageIf we are to progress in living on this little planet, then stepping outside of the current mainstream and taking the time to look back in, can only be beneficial in planning a way forward.

A way that will…

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14 years of Goddess Permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage, West of Ireland...drop in, power up! Colette O'Neill is a writer, photographer and teacher who has devoted the past 14 years to turning 3 acres of derelict land into a woodland sanctuary for all life, planting over 1,100 trees in the process.

14 thoughts on “Living Lightly

  1. Over the past few weeks, I have been reading your past posts. Sadly, it came to an end when I read the last one yesterday. I look forward to each new post for another bit of hope and another visit to Bealtaine via your lovely blog.


  2. Colette

    Not being part of the TwitBook mania (I could add ‘no mobile phone’ to your list!) I can only imagine the hostile responses you got when explaining how a better life is possible and desirable. I sympathise with you. I’ve encountered similar unthinking persons. Sadly, the web tends to dampen empathy and people say stuff they’d never even dream of thinking, let alone saying, of in person.

    Fortunately, I find the (actual, not virtual) Irish far more accepting of weirdos like me than, say, the English; in fact, I think the Irish outside the Pale tend to enjoy oddballs and it’s another good reason to be where I am.

    Repeat after me: you’re doing all the right things.

    Take care


    1. Unkind words never turn a hair on my head…they just bewilder me that some, (not all, thankfully), people can be a little crass and unfeeling. Fortunately, through Bealtaine Cottage, I have met some fabulous people…like yourself!
      Blessings XXX


      1. Hi Colette

        I was talking to a friend recently who had a weird experience; she’d mentioned she was a vegan to another woman, who threw a fit over it, implying that she was some kind of foodie fascist. Apparently it was a quite violent, vitriolic outburst.

        This is an example of how being more passive can produce outrage in others! It’s guilt, it’s denial, it’s the refusal to deal with personal responsibilities; it sets up a tension within people which they then take out on other beings.

        Strange but of course one thinks of Ghandi and the outrage he provoked by doing LESS harm…



  3. When we decided to move where we are now, away from town and conveniences, my family were highly upset. Our 6 mile road is gravel, we get flooded or snowed in from time to time, and it takes nearly an hour to get to the nearest department store. They eventually got over it, but so many thought I was losing my mind to bring the kids so far out like this. It’s turned out to be the best decision we’ve made.


  4. Denigrating words or behaviour reveal the barrenness of that life, rather than any true input into the topic….how can you enrich another’s life, if you have nothing to share? Keep sharing your treasures with the world, Colette. My little block of land at the other end of the earth is so much more cared for and fertile and productive for having found you, and many around me benefit from its productiveness as well….we continue to plant more trees!


  5. Your post is my favorite one I read. The pictures are beautiful and you have done wonders on your property. I love to read about your lifestyle and how you appreciate it. I am working on simplifying my life and have a great adventure myself converting my coal ash covered yard into a permaculture space. Thank you for the encouragement.


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