Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Celtic Mythology, holiday, Ireland, ocean, surfing, wild atlantic way

Wild Atlantic Way

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A visit to the wild Atlantic Ocean marks the day that’s in it!

The turning of another year for me, so close to the Celtic New Year, I can almost taste the wood-smoke in the air from Samhain bonfires.

The ocean is strong and volatile today, churning and heaving life, as it crashes on the stony shore of Strandhill in Sligo.

This is my birthday, the beginning of my sixth decade experience with Mother Earth.

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Visiting the Ocean is as close as I can get to her heart beat, rhythmic and strong…pounding out the pulse of life upon the shores of this most westerly habitation.

White horses ride the water as it breaks further out.

Children are on mid-term holiday from schools and line the promenade, with parents keeping watchful eye on the wild foam.

I look for a small stone upon the shore, one I can put into my pocket and hold easily in my hand as we venture home.

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I feel renewed, invigorated, and ready to leave the last decade behind me, as I embrace the first day of my future.

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Thanks to all you wonderful friends…it’s been a beautiful first day!

XXXX Colette at Bealtaine Cottage XXXX

Posted in birthday, healing, love

Today

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The day starts in the dark…making late October mornings seem magical and filled with hope.

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Walking in the gardens to empty the ashes, open the hen house and collect kindling as the sun rises on this, my birthday.

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And later, a gift arrives from someone I used to share much of my life with…my ex-husband is now very supportive and appreciative of the work I do at Bealtaine.

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In fact, Bealtaine Cottage has become a place of healing, whether it be human rifts, environmental devastation or spiritual despair…the energy here takes it all in and rebalances the problem with copious amounts of kindness and compassion, the love of the Great Mother.

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And as the morning is illuminated by the late-rising sun, my eldest daughter arrives with a home-made cake. Nothing is better than a cake made with love and good energy…the power of the hands infused into the soul-food!

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The cake is vegan and chocolatey and demands a big pot of tea…

And I especially love that my children move with ease between my name and my title, of Mother.

Today I am Colette…my birth name.


Posted in birthday, parents

Blessed Birth Day

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On a sunny October morning, many years ago, my mother decided it was time to ascend the narrow staircase to the bedroom she shared with my father and lie down on the horsehair mattress to ready herself for my birth.

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I have always been impatient and began my life as I continued it, not waiting for anyone else to act!

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In the rush of pain, water and blood that followed, my father acted as best he could to deliver me.

Always a cool, calm and thoughtful man, he acted intuitively upon seeing the cord around my neck, gently holding me back, as he unwound my umbilical cord, to release me safely, from my mother, into the world.

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My dear father passed several years ago…I refuse to mark time as I feel his energy with me.

The Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage

My mother passed this year, as calm and serene as the day she birthed me.

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And so, tomorrow is my birthday and I have a mind to celebrate the two people who got me safely into this beautiful world.

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I have cleared a space in the fast growing woodland of Bealtaine Cottage and there I shall create a little garden for them both.

Posted in Autumn, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Folklore, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, photography, Spirituality, Thoughts, Trees, Woodland

The Girdle of Green

www.bealtainecottage.com 002An old castle on an island in the forest, not far from Bealtaine Cottage, and where I walked today with my daughter, Cara, whose birthday we celebrated, with a walk through this magical landscape on a glorious autumn day.

www.bealtainecottage.com 007This is Lough Key and the castle once belonged to the MacDermott clan who lived here hundreds of years ago.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003The castle is mentioned frequently in the ancient annals, being a focus for both fighting and partying.

Brian of the Carrick, Chief 1585-92, is reported to be last head of the clan to live on the island.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004 There is reference to Castle Island in the annals of Lough Ce as early as 1184.

During this time the park was called Moylurg and the Kings of Moylurg were the MacDermotts.

www.bealtainecottage.com 017The real pleasure lies in walking among the mighty Oaks that guard the Lough.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031This Oak tree was warm and welcoming…an ancient heart holding the history of the land within.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021Just resting against this tree made me feel joyous…what amazing energy and strength emanates forth from trees like this!

The mighty  Oak has had importance and great significance to the Celts, from ancient to modern times.

www.bealtainecottage.com 034This is where the ancestors worshipped and held important events in the old calendar, for the Oak Grove was considered sacred.

www.bealtainecottage.com 048Oak trees grow in almost every part of the world.

The Druids made their magic wands from only three woods…Yew, Oak and Apple.

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As the sap begins to drop in the trees and the leaves turn colour, Ivy, that has previously been shaded out by canopy, emerges into its own, as a permanent reminder to us all that spring will return.

www.bealtainecottage.com 057The evergreen girdle of Ivy, on many trees, keeps a host of small birds and insects warm and fed over the dark days of winter.

www.bealtainecottage.com 043Similarly, the girdle of Moss, around the base of the mighty Oak, will secure the winter for many small creatures.

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or visit the Etsy shop and purchase a hand-made or vintage product.

Posted in celebrations, Country Living, Earth, Food, Gardens, Inspiration, Life, Permaculture

Living Lightly upon the Earth

So much has changed since my birthday last year.

Re-painting the cottage has made a big difference to the light inside and the way in which the walls now reflect the outside in. I made new curtains from simple gingham.

There is now a green floor in the kitchen with gold spirals all across it.

The vegetable garden has been moved closer to the cottage and is now a potager style with easier access.

However, the real change has happened in my own life and it is a change worth celebrating and sharing with all.

I became Vegan…no longer consuming any animal products and eating a fully plant-based diet.

I consider this to be the most beneficial lifestyle choice I have ever embraced.

I am transformed in the way I live my life.

Not only have I shed a considerable amount of weight and have loads more energy, I sleep well and feel calmer and more positive than ever before.

I heartily recommend this way of eating. I call it, “Living Lightly upon the Earth.”

As my birthday approaches this autumn, a sense of renewal is exciting me as I open up the big box of winter clothes…not many of them now fit me, so the sewing machine will be put to good use altering and reshaping much of my wardrobe!

This may even be a good time to host a “Clothes Swap Party,” and enjoy an evening of fun with friends and some home-made wine and clothes exchanging! The winter months are a good time to share time with friends and family. I have re-engaged my love of knitting recently and intend putting the spinning wheel into action soon too.

I have an idea to knit socks this winter.

Hand-knits are so luxurious these days as so much is mass produced and cheaply made…ugh!

A lovely idea for gifts is really anything hand-made and special…little hamper baskets of home-made goodies are the very best Yuletide gifts to make and give.

Living well should not cost the Earth.

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bloom, Country Living, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Nature, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Roscommon, Self-Sufficiency, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Wine

The Rain-Sodden Lushness of Midsummer in Ireland

Harvests are looking good despite the lack of sunshine.

Today, Sunday, is overcast and still.

If the weather is fine tomorrow I shall begin to harvest the Blackcurrants.

It looks to be a mighty harvest…certainly in excess of last year, when over 100lbs were picked…and the birds had their feast along the way!

Redcurrants are cropping well also and most of these will go in the freezer, as I enjoy fruit yoghurts throughout the winter.

The Redcurrants give the impression of jewels hanging on bushes.

I often wonder why more of these delightful and easy to grow fruit bushes are not planted in borders in the garden.

The leaves are a lovely vivid green and look really attractive!

I bought this lovely lamp in a Charity shop in Enniskillen, on my way to Omagh, my home town.

 I was up visiting my Mum on her 82nd birthday last Friday!

She is in great form and looking fantastic!

I must post a pic of her soon!

Happy Birthday Mum! (I’m saying this because she has recently started looking on the net and perusing the Bealtaine Cottage blogs!)

I notice that the flowers are all in bloom on the St John’s Wort bush…they are all open despite the lack of sun!

The Bealtaine Angel silently surveys the Valerian…

I have been gathering big bouquets of Yellow Loosestrife to fill vases in the cottage.

Everywhere the lushness of midsummer continues to hold sway…