Creating a Sanctuary for Yourself!

“Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit

He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing”
Marcus Tullius Cicero 

DSC07990This is very apt today as I have been in and out of the garden, working and reading…Dictator by Robert Harris, the third and last book in the Cicero trilogy.

DSC09029Many of you are aware that I do not have a TV, nor want one, come to that!

I spend my time between the garden and reading mostly. 018Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul, and constitutionalist.

Cicero lived through the fall of the Republic and the installation of Caesar as dictator.

Barn at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensIt was a time when Roman fought Roman and the fabric of society was torn apart.

Cleopatra was on the throne of Egypt and Mark Anthony was waiting in the wings, (…most of you know of the tempestuous love affair between them both!)

10 July 2014 005But, to return to the quote above…Cicero had life sorted in my opinion.

There is much anguish and depression in society today, and, in my opinion,  exacerbated by the lack of connection we have to Mother Earth and each other, but particularly by noise!

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureThere is a background noise that seems to permeate home life, emanating from TVs, computers and screens linked to the internet.

Gaming seems to be the order of the day for many young people.

In short, home, for many people, is no longer a sanctuary! 

Autumn permaculture at 018Creating a private space where you can go to read, write, pursue a craft, or simply unwind is a positive step towards establishing good mental health and physical relaxation, in other words, a body and mind space!

If you are lucky enough to have a garden, then that can be a wonderful environment to create “space”…or, as I did when I lived in London, a garden shed on my rented allotment was my personal retreat!

Feverfew and stained glassThe words of Cicero are particularly relevant today as society seems to struggle to keep a grip on sanity and calm.

It was difficult enough for Cicero over two thousand years ago…and you know what they say about history and it’s apparent repetitive nature… 


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  1. Hi, I love your beautiful garden. It is done so well that as if nature is doing everything in best possible way. The beautiful big treesand flowers and fruits. I just like to ask if you collect all the leaves in fall or you just leave them in garden and nature will take care of it. Best wishes for coming xmas to you and your family. Love almas nathoo

  2. i have lived without a tv for many years but not without music!!! My music – classical, celtic, folk, rock n’ roll (earth by neil young is one of my latest additions as is several cds by Enya)…… is always playing in the background. It keeps my focused, in good spirits, and i do believe the plants and chickens liked it too! Thanks again for your wise words, and would luv to know whats on your favorite “playlist”

  3. Sometimes, people get all bundled up in their daily routine – work, home, social life, etc. It is easy to forget the need for calm spaces in our life.
    It is more about goals, economic progress, winning races, buying power, comparisons etc… If,.. by chance, human mind gets a feel of a calm and quite space…,it will cherish and enjoy it. We only need to give our mind an opportunity to calm down.

  4. Cicero as a very wise man. Nature and books, very rewarding for ones soul. I lived without a TV for the majority of my life. I don’t right now, but that is not my choice. I prefer a good book anytime. My deepest connections both mother earth is when I’m with horses. Thank you for a very inspiring post.

  5. I just love your site and who you are and how I see you in your place. You inspire me daily as I see your posts and read your emails. I want to do what you have done. I have always had a desire to have a “cottage garden” and books and animals and peace. I love this quote (CIcero). I live in Jeffers, Montana USA. We have a little over an acre of property, 3 dogs, 3 cats (and a wild cat who has befriended us and now loves our home and thinks it’s his playground lol!, 23 chickens, and 3 horses and one I babysit for 9 months of the year. I have been planting a vegetable garden now for about 8 years but now want to do like what you have done to your place. I love it! I am starting by not really knowing what I’m doing, but proceeding anyway. I lost a loved one and the grief paralized me in life. Now, creating this new space in my old space (we’ve lived here 32 years) is my new purpose. It is what keeps me feeling sane and at peace. I can really relate to what you are saying about the background noise in homes. We had the electricity go out a few weeks ago. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was and I already thought it was quiet! It felt different to have no electricity on. I lit candles and loved that. I may need to practice going with out power just for fun. haha. Thank you for your articles! I sure enjoy them and the photos too!

    • There is so much joy and energy coming from Mother Earth at this point in time, it’s infectious and I’m so happy for you to have been re-charged as you have! Blessings on your emergence from the chrysalis into a new world of your co-creation with Mother Earth. XXX Colette

Your comments are welcome!