Mind, Body and Spirit Wellness

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Yesterday I spent much of the day in a workshop group learning all about needle felting. It was a day well spent, for I was with others and being creative.

I made this…

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We often forget how it feels to simply be.

IMG_6885To be oneself.

IMG_6900To be with others.

IMG_6893To be happy.

IMG_6904To be quiet and still.

IMG_6910To simply be!

IMG_6891We have forgotten…be kind, be kinder.

IMG_6911We are oft times unkind to ourselves.

IMG_6912We can never fully know or understand what others are struggling with, yet we all know the value of a kind word, a caring call or a shared coffee.

IMG_6914Being kind opens the door to personal happiness.

IMG_6918Body wellness is centred around being kind to oneself…something many of us never really think about…especially if we have others to care for.

IMG_6922In the past I have often posed the question, “who cares for the carers?”

IMG_6923Kindness changes everything.

IMG_6924This was the abiding message in the famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” and yes, Rime is the correct spelling!

IMG_6925Being kind and casting a blessing on ‘slimy’ creatures, allowed the mariner to be freed from the corpse of the Albatross.

IMG_6930It is an epic poem and one worth reading, for it is a marvellous story and lesson.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.
O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
The self-same moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.
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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads.
Blessings to you all XXX Colette

A Big Thank You!

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I travelled up to see Christine Coulson this morning at the Leitrim Animal Welfare Centre, to make the presentation of the monies you raised for the much needed Animal Protection and re-homing work she does 24/7!

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(Mum and son both neutered vaccination and wormed looking to go to new home together sweet cats super friendly)

dogSome of the animals showing on the FB page were there this morning as I walked around the kennels…oh how I wanted to take them all home with me!

One of the lovely dogs was being prepared for his final home journey to England, where he has been adopted.

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(a boy and a girl never separated since birth so would like them to go together to new home)

Despite continued ill-health, Christine works hard to find homes for these unwanted sweethearts all over Europe, with 97% of all the animals getting new families to love and care for them.

Check out the FB site…

https://www.facebook.com/LeitrimAnimalWelfareCentre/

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(HI my names is Sean and this is my friend Max, poor Max has been badly treated and he is wary of humans our Dog Warden paired us together, so I can help Max be a happy dog again and we have a bed each but Dog warden keeps finding us cuddled in one, sometimes you just need your own kind to help you be yourself . Woof woof Max)

Sean looks just like my Jack!

A big thank you to the following subscribers…

Anne Faught, Alaska…28.00

Cathy Lawlor, Ireland…20.00

Sharon Hiltz, Fairmont, WV., USA…60.00

Mark Mcvittie, Rostrevor, Newry, Northern Ireland…50.00

Snapdragon Plants, Lampeter, Wales…30.00

Jane Potter, Manchester, UK…15.00

Cormac Breslin, Dublin, Ireland…50.00

Patti, Rossinver, Ireland and USA…25.00

Frances Brotzel, Stoke Newington, London…50.00

(To all past and present animal friends.)

Judith Gamble, Ireland…50.00

(Donation on behalf of our dog, Roxie, who was dumped on our Lane 7 years ago and has been with us ever since!)

Debbie Ledgard, Yorkshire, UK…50.00

Barbara Wingrove, UK…10.00

Anonymous, Ireland…50.00

Catherine McGuckin, Oughterad, Co Galway, Ireland…10.00

Beverley Little, Cornwall, UK…10.00

Linda Jarreau, Denham Springs, LA, USA…25.00

In memory of Karen, my mother who loved dogs so much!
Contributor: Marianne Burkhar…21.00

Margaret Quinn, Meath, Ireland…20.00

Lorna Lees, Moray, Scotland, UK…15.00

Anna Ballard, Bristol, UK…10.00

Willow Antiques, Leigh on Sea, Essex, UK…25.00

Karen Hillier, Herts., UK…20.00

Pamela Waterworth, Wigan, Lancs., UK…10.00

Fiona Fitzpatrick, Buncrana, Donegal, Ireland…20.00

Tina, West Wales…20.00

Jenny in Scotland…20.00

Sharon Hiltz, Fairmont, United States…30.00

Hanson design group dba HotPatterns, USA…20.00

Majella Callaghan, Lurgan, N. Ireland, UK…50.00

Denise Machon, Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, UK…30.00

Miss Susan K Wilson, UK…50.00

Cormac O’Neill, London, UK…50.00

Colette O’Neill, Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland…100.00…from Jack to Christine XXX who was there when I needed a friend!

The Naming of Cats

dsc04001“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
dsc04000First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey –
All of them sensible everyday names.
dsc03999There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter –
But all of them sensible everyday names.
dsc03998But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
dsc03997dsc03996Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum –
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
dsc03995But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover –
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
dsc03994dsc03993When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
dsc03992His ineffable effable
dsc03991Effanineffable
dsc03990Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”
T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

dsc03998Beauty!

To The Mountain!

DSC01770I’ve been spending much of this week catching up with a great many tasks that were backing up around me…cork-tiling the bathroom floor and part of the Lodge floor, clearing the tunnel for the winter crops and all the usual stuff such as clearing and mowing the paths in the gardens!

DSC01861I have got a lot done because I made the decision last week to come off Facebook…and have shared my thoughts with you on this…

DSC01860I posted a number of pics on FB this morning, as so many people delight in seeing Bealtaine Cottage!

DSC01859It is, however, almost impossible to respond to comments left on FB as I simply do not have the time and am resolved not to negate my commitment to this blog and the second website at bealtainecottage.org

DSC01853Those of you who have followed this blog for any amount of time will be aware of the enormous workload I carry and will, therefore, totally understand this.

DSC01852Recently I came across this quote by Joseph Campbell and was deeply moved to meditate upon it for a while. 

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. –

Joseph Campbell

DSC01850It has inspired me to “go with the flow” much more and to simply get on and do whatever tasks need doing, rather than planning and then becoming despondent at what I have not achieved…I can be my own hardest and most severe taskmaster!

DSC01846I am determined to come away from this driven approach and relax into life more!

DSC01784DSC01787I could do with taking lessons from Sammy-bear, seen here by the Catnip in the tunnel, out of his mind!

DSC01786DSC01785DSC01781Cats remind us all how we should relax…frequently and often!

On the other hand…looking at his spaced-out expression…maybe not!

DSC01846There is another quote I wish to share with you. It is on a slightly different note, but one that you may find meaningful at this time…for I am aware of the events in our world recently…

DSC01845This is a dark time, filled with suffering and uncertainty. Like living cells in a larger body, it is natural that we feel the trauma of our world. So don’t be afraid of the anguish you feel, or the anger or fear, because these responses arise from the depth of your caring and the truth of your interconnectedness with all beings.

Joanna Macy

DSC01844I have found this to be comforting as I attempt to make sense of the chaos!

There is so much to rejoice in when out in Nature…

DSC01837DSC01836This is a bank holiday weekend here in Ireland, and also the great festival of Lughnasadh!

DSC01835DSC01834DSC01832 I will stride forth on Lughnasadh Eve to a high point on a nearby mountain to welcome in the new season and pay tribute to Mother Earth and in particular, Mother Ireland.

DSC01829DSC01823DSC01820DSC01818To celebrate the season is to turn one’s back on the machinations, arrogance and hubris of Man, seeking instead, the warmth and generosity of the Great Mother…Earth, in all her beauty!

DSC01777DSC01772Before I go, just to let you know, I am writing a blog on the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website, all about using sheep wool in the tunnel as I prepare it for the Autumn/Winter sowing and planting.

I am still clearing, but once I begin using the wool I shall take lots of pics and post them in the blog, along with detailed explanations of how and why.

You can become a member of the site here…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

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See you on the other site tomorrow!

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

 

 

 

Magical Days

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Gardens in Spring are one of Nature’s great delights.

Here at Bealtaine Cottage the back door remains open and the sun streams in.

My grandson, Dylan sips tea, whilst nearby, Charlie sleeps on the rocking chair.

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It is days like these that are idyllic to recall, as the days of Spring and Summer stretch out before us. 008

Sammy-Bear sits by the open door, enjoying the strong sunshine.

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Somewhere in the scheme of things, as the days lengthen and the early morning birdsong touches our souls, a deep sense of optimism pervades the humdrum of everyday life.

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Animals react to Spring with displays of joy.

The image of the Spring lamb are there for all to see, but look at the behaviour of other animals…

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And the Earth itself…I can smell the grass growing…it’s an earthy, green, living smell that intoxicates!

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As I walk among the Potager beds in the garden, I notice how the Purple Sprouting Broccoli is regenerating, almost as fast as I can pick the small sprouts.

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In the tunnel, Calendula flowers on last Summers plants…a welcome reminder of the flowers to come and oh, they smell so sweet!

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Buds on the Peach tree are beginning to thicken.

This was a broken tree I rescued from the waste of a big store.

It’s taken four years to nurture it into a strong tree and this year, maybe, just maybe, I shall have some fruit!

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The Kale has over-wintered well, keeping me supplied with plenty of this rich food through the dark months.

Now, as almost all the leaves have been harvested, it begins to sprout abundance all over again.

Time to feed and water well!

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This Celery was planted and stem harvested last Spring.

It has regenerated and will provide yet more nutrients for juicing!

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Spring flowers, beauty to behold…feeding the spirit as I work in the kitchen.

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Flowers on the Ribes bushes have opened.

These will be ready to feed early awakening bees.

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Wood, stacked in Wigwam shape to air dry before being cut and moved to the barn.

There is so much wood here at Bealtaine that I am never going to get around to coppicing more than about 25%!

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Taking the time to bend down and look closer to the Earth, sights like this remind one there is another world below our view, reacting to the energy of Spring.

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I hope you make time to go out into Nature and find repose with her, for these are days of Spring magic…Magical days indeed!

Days of Hibernation

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Snow fell today.

As I stood by the front of the cottage, the mountain of Sliabh an Iarainn appeared to suddenly rise up in a shroud of white.

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More often than not it merges into the sky in shades of grey and sometimes blue, but today it stood out proud, gleaming white.

This mighty mountain, where once the ancients mined iron ore and ushered in the Iron Age, rises from the shores of Lough Allen to the North East, as Kilronan Mountain faces the cottage, sentinel-like, to the North.

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It too was dusted with a covering of light snow.

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I retreated to the warmth of the cottage and watched the snow fall.

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By the time I went into the bedroom to make the bed, Sammy-Bear had made a nest and curled up for the day…I exited the messy room and closed the door!

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Sammy-Bear often sleeps in my bedroom to escape Charlie, who often makes great sport from terrorizing his betters!

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Charlie and Jack are quite good friends now.

It’s a hierarchical relationship…Charlie’s the boss!

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The evening has drawn in fast…there is not much to notice yet in the stretch of the day…it slowly manifests when we are busy getting used to the new year.

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Now is the time to make the most of the days of hibernation left to us, for they are few in number…the Spring moves in faster than we realise.

Charlie knows this…in fact, looking into his eyes, I’d say that Charlie knows an awful lot!

Irish Country Magazine

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With the sun shining bright in the sky and just a touch of autumn in the air, I spent some lovely time being interviewed for Irish Country Magazine.

The interest in sustainable living is growing!

I’ll let you know when the interview is published.

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There is something of an Indian Summer happening here in the west of Ireland and it’s pretty gorgeous too!

Grapes are beginning to turn colour and ripen on the vine.

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The early morning walk was tempered with a small chill in the air.

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Yesterday was spent cutting the overgrowth in the undergrowth along the hedge on the west side of the driveway.

I am cutting all the Goat Willow, which will grow very fast next year and fill the gaps.

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In the meantime, there are stacks of wood every couple of metres along the hedge!

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It promises to be a good week, filled with sunshine and warmth…our promised “Indian Summer!”

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I shall leave the seed-heads on the Buddleia for the small birds to enjoy eating over the first few months of Autumn…time enough in cutting them back!

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Something of the Mediterranean about the cottage this morning, as the day warmed up…

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It’s not often that the sky is as blue as the watering can, but…

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The bees continue to enjoy Nasturtiums flowers…

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As the leaves hold onto the precious morning dew.

Economy? The Future is Local…the Illusion of Growth

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I keep hens.

These hens feed into my local economy in small, positive ways.

However, these beautiful creatures are not part of Ireland’s economy, despite their consistent hard work!

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Economic growth is all about measuring the flow of money.

Surplus eggs at Bealtaine Cottage are bartered for other goods.

The details of that growth are almost irrelevant.

Yet, every day, the news is filled with details about the economy, difficult to relate to any aspect of our daily lives.

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There is not one aspect of what I do here at Bealtaine Cottage which would be deemed to contribute to economic growth. Sewing, spinning, planting trees, growing food, supporting wildlife, caring…

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Planting trees?

Only measured on the day of cutting and selling!  

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Ensuring the land is brought back to fertility…not measured.

If it cannot be measured in  the transfer of money, then it is not counted.

If you produce what you consume, then, apparently, you do not produce…the real economy of people like me is zero.

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However, the future is local in terms of the real economy, because the real economy is about real people and the real lives they lead!

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I believe that in order to stabilize the world, we must first stabilize our country and in order to do that, we must ensure our homes and communities are efficient and resilient.

The future can only be welcomed if our present is secure.

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We are of real flesh and blood; real feelings: compassion and hope; real lives, not economic statistics on the six o’clock news.

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The future is local, resources are plentiful; the future is us…just us and justice!

A Country Remedy

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As the days move inexorably towards the fullness of August, visitors come and go.

I hear the same words being spoken, from many disillusioned souls, who make their way to Bealtaine Cottage…in search of inspiration and ways to live the better life they dream of having.

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Seeking a way back that takes them forward is how I describe it best. Being able to examine first hand the joys of living simply in order to simply live.

Back to a time when home made cakes were the only cakes to be had and bread was made and baked twice a week.

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Staying at Bealtaine Cottage is becoming a remedy holiday…one to counteract the negative influences that drag us down and inspire ideas on how to apply simplicity into one’s own life.

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This is the what overnight visitors are telling me…of a need for sanctuary.

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 And to escape the harshness of everyday life, in a quite ragged world, where many feel disenchanted. www.bealtainecottage.com 003

Speaking with recent visitors, it is apparent to me that the world of acquirement, where all is of material value, is a very narrow one. 

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There appears to be a great need for peace and solitude, time to be still and listen to the sounds of Mother Earth.

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As I busy myself in my everyday chores, my visitors drink tea and eat home-made bread or cake and just chill out. 

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If you would like your own Chill-out Time at Bealtaine Cottage, visit the link  at the top of this page, (Booking Your Visit) and book a few days out from the crazy carousel of life out there!

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It’s also a great opportunity to find out all about Permaculture at no extra cost!

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Included in your stay is an endless supply of tea and cakes!