This notion that man can, and should, have absolute dominion over the “chaotic” powers of nature and woman…is what ultimately lies behind man’s famous “conquest of nature” – a conquest that is today puncturing holes in the earth’s ozone layer, destroying our forests, polluting our air and water, and increasingly threatening the welfare, and even survival, of thousands of living species, including our own.
I was aware from an early age, through extensive reading and observation, that women have long been associated with Nature.
Even the metaphor we use for our planet, ‘Mother Earth’, for instance…our nurturing Earth!
The language we have become over familiar with says it all.. a ‘virgin’ forest is one awaiting exploitation, as yet untouched by man.
I have lived through the greatest exploitation and destruction of ‘virgin forests’, ever seen.
It is something I would love to be able to wish away and part of the reason I have grown and planted over one thousand trees to co-create Bealtaine Cottage, with, Mother Earth.
Working with the land, in much of the world, is women’s work.
Apart from the violence of war and the destruction of the planet, women have been associated with the physical side of life.
Even in biblical terms, women are ‘closer to nature’, and so to be kept controlled.
There is a real fear of Nature and all that She imbibes.
Of course, when one takes a long look at how mankind has viewed Nature down through the past several thousand years, it becomes apparent that fear is the driving force.
Nature is more powerful than human life.
The control over Nature allows a fleeting feeling of control and empowerment…but, never for long, as we all know.
So, in my own small way, recognising these truths, I embarked on a journey of making peace…with Her.
The ultimate and final Peace Initiative.
I come from one of the most devastated towns in Northern Ireland…Omagh.
A town that endured such violence and suffering in the worst bombing witnessed on a quiet day in August of 1998.
I mention this as it helps to contextualize my own life and motives for what I do…a complex study in itself!
The only end to violence comes when people make peace with each other, or a situation.
Peace and happiness is never birthed from subjugation and control.
As a society that has both witnessed and endured these past two world wars, we should be in full receipt of that information!
For twelve years now I have striven to make peace with Mother Earth. The results are here for all to see.
She is not to be feared.
She is not to be controlled.
(Can you see the little bird in flight from the box?)
She is who we live WITH!
I learned, to my shock, the other day, that Ireland relied heavily on the importation of Chemical Fertilizer from America during the years of World war Two!
That was over sixty years ago, so one must assume that grass has only grown green from chemicals ever since!
One must further conclude that alongside this continued abomination has come the loss of topsoil, for one goes hand-in-hand with the other!
The ultimate Peace Initiative is working with Mother Earth to create topsoil, as evidenced here.
Peace is to be nurtured and worked through.
Peace comes with levels of compromise and sacrifice.
Peace in our own life comes with persistence and negotiation and keeping the vision with us.
Peace comes from the refusal to abuse, the refusal to not live ON Her, but WITH Her!
The greatest war of all time is being fought in every garden, allotment, field, woodland, forest, river, ocean and all that makes up Mother Earth.
The future of our children’s children lies within the reflection of our love for Mother Earth today.
We either make peace with Her or forfeit the lives of those whose faces we will never see!
Thank you for the most beautiful powerful post Colette. It gives one such hope.
Such powerful words. Thank you. Make a small change and make it TODAY…tomorrow will be another day lost. Be part of the turning point. I’m going out to plant something, cheers, Shannon
I’m in my 60s and for my entire life I always saw the word man or mankind to designate humanity of both sexes. That was automatically assumed by our generation. Even with people who held political or private club offices-they were called the chairMAN,etc. Then recent generations started to substitute the word PERSON for those titles to make it gender neutral.
Once again Colette, you have spoken so well. I see our precious mother starting to respond in very tangible and not so favorable ways. All the quakes and volcanic eruptions are no coincidence. She is shifting and expressing. Enough is enough our species takes and takes with little to no regard. As she is mother she will ultimately put her children into line. I first hand lived through the Christchurch earthquakes and it was and still is a frightening reminder of her force. She like everything living needs love and nurturing. Without this she won’t sustain what we require. I sincerely hope that there are others like yourself and that an awakening occurs in humanity to create a new and harmonious way of being. Big love to you and all that you do xx
That is a very potent statement, ‘She like everything living needs love and nurturing. Without this she won’t sustain what we require.’
Hi Justine, i completely agree with you, i believe that Mother Earth is trying to shake sense into us!
Wonderful post with stunning photographs
man has no dominion over nature, as shown by many failed civilizations of the past, when man decides to live with her as do all her other creatures , instead of exploiting her for profit, he may find his existence much more secure, we only have one earth we should cherish it and respect its beauty.
Lovely pictures and although it is true that the planet suffers because of our actions, I feel we can’t blame it all on men but on human unconsciousness in general.
Biologists refer to humankind as ‘man’. Nowhere in this blog have I used the word, ‘men’, which is referring directly to the male sex.
Hello Christine, look up Patriarchy in Wikipedia it might help clarify things 🙂
I like the word “steward” of the earth. That makes us her caretakers, but NOT her jailers!
What stunning pictures, and inspiring thoughts to view with my morning coffee. I have read, that somewhere during translations of the Bible, the original meaning, that humankind had CUSTODY OF the Earth was winnowed out in favor of the the notion that we had dominion over her. “Custody of” versus “dominion over” … makes such a tragic difference in our global understanding.
I like the co-creation and acknowledgement to nature spirits working with you. So inspiring. Thank you.
Beautiful & inspiring.
I bought this house 15 years ago and like you I did not have to use flea control–until now I think some animals, due to a genetic defect, draw fleas to them. At 10 months old, this dog has already had several other health issues/
Nice post, Colette and so true. I remember the bombing in Omagh….if I am remembering correctly it was in a marketplace and there were many women and children victims. It was horrific. But what I also remember, and why I remember that bombing above others (for all were terrible) is that it was the women of Omagh who stood up after that bombing and said “No more!” They didn’t want revenge, they wanted peace. It was so inspiring, And didn’t that sort of start the peace process? I may be remembering it wrong, but I thought at the time how powerful women were and that we were the hope of the world. Were you still in Omagh when it happened? I do think, that if we are to win the war against Monsanto et al, and make no mistake, it is a war, it will be women…like yourself.. Who will lead the way. Thank you so much for all you do. Patti
It was a day of absolute horror and absolute courage in the face of ongoing despair and yes, it was a great turning too. I feel we are near that point with Mother Earth and She is communicating with those who listen as to the way forward. We will be forced to listen, for She will roar!
We had the famous Dust Bowl here in the US as a result of soil depletion,etc. The overly abundant peach tree in my front yard is living testimony to no chemical, permaculture! If those peaches were money, I would be able to BUY a country ! ( But alas, chemicals continue to rule our lives even in insidious ways! I turned my little dog into a virtual chemical cocktail yesterday when the fleas overran him to the point it was either that or steroids! )
I am fortunate in that I have not had to use any chemicals on Jack or Sammy-Bear…don’t ask why as I’ve never even thought about it.
What a wonderful, thought provoking post Colette. And your beautiful photographs say it all.