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.

www.bealtainecottage.com 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 bealtainecottage.com 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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View from the Edge of the World

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As the Roman Empire came apart at the seams, the safest place to be was on the very edges of that dying empire.

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I have recently been reading the books, by Robert Harris, detailing the life of the great thinker, orator and statesman, Cicero.

bealtainecottage.com 028It is uncanny how many parallels with modern day life can be drawn from the novels,  ‘Imperium’ and ‘Lustrum’…(the third in the trilogy is yet to be published).

Of all the cumulative reasons why the Roman Empire came apart, endless wars, an over reliance on slave labour and corruption in government appear to be at the forefront.

bealtainecottage.com 016As I read chapter on chapter, I couldn’t help but draw parallels with the state of our world today…and viewed with horror an emerging pattern of decline and fall.

bealtainecottage.com 020The template of decline and fall remains the same regardless of time.

Wealthy Romans drank water transported through lead pipes into their villas.

The water contained up to 100 times more lead that that from spring wells.

bealtainecottage.com 023Lead poisoning leads to erratic behaviour, mental decline etc., much of which could be viewed in the conduct of the ruling elite during the final days.

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 Much the same appears to be happening now, even to the point of corrupt and debased behaviour within the ranks of the ruling elite.

bealtainecottage.com 027I never cease to be both amazed and appalled at the continuing scandals.

We appear to be not so much governed, as presided over by people we would otherwise be embarrassed to call our friends…integrity and compassion being somewhat lacking!

bealtainecottage.com 030When Rome fell, the world entered the “Dark Ages”.

bealtainecottage.com 031The Dark Ages lasted several hundred years, but birthed a new Age of Enlightenment.

bealtainecottage.com 001The light of civilization was carried back into mainland Europe, from, of all places, Ireland.

bealtainecottage.com 003The edge of empire for me is a mindset, a refusal to be drawn into the madness.

bealtainecottage.com 006A resoluteness to live with integrity.

bealtainecottage.com 005A desire to continue to cultivate and practice compassion, even when our leaders applaud war and attempt to vindicate suffering and destruction.

bealtainecottage.com 010In these days of crumbling empire, (for this mayhem cannot last much longer!), it is not such a bad place to be…the edge of empire.

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