The day starts in the dark…making late October mornings seem magical and filled with hope.
Walking in the gardens to empty the ashes, open the hen house and collect kindling as the sun rises on this, my birthday.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I have always been impatient and began my life as I continued it, not waiting for anyone else to act!
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.
My dear father passed several years ago…I refuse to mark time as I feel his energy with me.
My mother passed this year, as calm and serene as the day she birthed me.
And so, tomorrow is my birthday and I have a mind to celebrate the two people who got me safely into this beautiful world.
I have cleared a space in the fast growing woodland of Bealtaine Cottage and there I shall create a little garden for them both.
An 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.
This is Lough Key and the castle once belonged to the MacDermott clan who lived here hundreds of years ago.
The 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.
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.
The real pleasure lies in walking among the mighty Oaks that guard the Lough.
This Oak tree was warm and welcoming…an ancient heart holding the history of the land within.
Just 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.
This is where the ancestors worshipped and held important events in the old calendar, for the Oak Grove was considered sacred.
Oak trees grow in almost every part of the world.
The Druids made their magic wands from only three woods…Yew, Oak and Apple.
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.
The evergreen girdle of Ivy, on many trees, keeps a host of small birds and insects warm and fed over the dark days of winter.
Similarly, the girdle of Moss, around the base of the mighty Oak, will secure the winter for many small creatures.
If you would like to support the work of the Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture website and Youtube (ad-free) videos, donations are very appreciated 🙂
or visit the Etsy shop and purchase a hand-made or vintage product.
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.