“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”
― John Burroughs, Leaf and Tendril
A simple life is not impoverished…it’s knowing what is enough!
Here I made a board for jigsaws…something I love to do.
It’s simple…look closely and see how it was made…wood, glue and edging strip to keep the bits from falling off the board.
All these photographs were snapped today, the first day of July….a few last night!
“We’d incorporated Asia into our bones – its colours and laughter, its smells, its rhythms, its tolerance and patience, its compassion, its lack of ageism.” ~ Jane Wilson-Howarth
Colour is important to me, as you can see from both the cottage and the garden.
I am led to infuse it into my daily life, as in the tie-dyed sheet that hangs as a curtain on the old doorway.
Sometimes it’s all too easy to go to the shops and buy what is deemed suitable for covering a doorway…usually a door!
But, as always, a cottage can be very forgiving and accommodating to whatever furniture or resources one has.
A cottage is never in competition with the big, new house down the road!
It’s more of a “make do and mend” kind of home, where anything goes, be it period or modern, or just recycled, as is the case here at Bealtaine.
As I snapped these photos this morning, my gaze was being continually led outside…and so it should be, for that connectivity is immensely important.
I recall living in an old house in Muswell Hill in London and how I loved tending the window boxes beyond the old sash windows. How just the simple act of pushing them up and the outside coming in provided a kind of release of energy both ways!
There will be no lack of water in the well for the next few weeks!
I have finally given away my hens…as I no longer eat eggs and there was a lovely home ready and waiting for them where they would be more useful, as they are good layers and their eggs will be anticipated and appreciated where there is a family of people to eat them.
I shall miss them, but as with life at Bealtaine Cottage, the void is quickly filled and the hen-house will be re-purposed and appreciated further.
In the past, their manure was a part of developing the fertility of the land at Bealtaine, but this is no longer needed.
The compoost system is now working very well and far exceeds what any animal manure could bring to three acres.
Seed production is well under way, with some of the harvest already collected and much more coming to fruition.
We are now one week away from Midsummer, as evidenced in the lush growth seen here!
We inter-breath with the rain forests, we drink from the oceans. They are part of our own body. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
The fruit trees and bushes were pruned back quite hard over the course of last Autumn and Winter and they are happily producing yet another bumper harvest.
…no matter how complex or affluent, human societies are nothing but subsystems of the biosphere, the Earth’s thin veneer of life, which is ultimately run by bacteria, fungi and green plants.
Your deepest roots are in nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.
“If we are going to be kind, let it be out of simple generosity, not because we fear guilt or retribution.”
― J.M. Coetzee
Here in the study the light is low as the day fades into the west.
Ten O’Clock rings out as I take up my camera and head out into the warm evening.
I have enjoyed visitors for much of the day, so stepping out into the evening allows me time to be quiet and absorb the ending of the day.
“Be calm…calm as a calm lagoon, then you will look beautiful as a beautiful calm lagoon crowned by the Moon and sheltered by the brilliance of the stars reclaiming your royalty of regal life…”
― Oksana Rus
The light lends an ethereal touch to everything.
“When one tunes in into nature’s frequency, life becomes change, change becomes hope!”
― Aniekee Tochukwu
The birds continue to fly to and fro their nestlings in a frenzy to keep them fed.
Fortunately, Bealtaine Cottage can now support dozens of pairs of breeding birds and all from the plentiful supply of food in the gardens and food forest.
“It was that time of dusk when there is a—deepening of the interior shadows. It is a melancholy time: all you need do is switch on one lamp and the inside and the outside will separate, held apart by the reflections in the glass, and evening will begin.”
― Rudolph Delson
As always at this time of evening, there is magic in the air.
Flowers are dancing in billows of colour around the cottage.
As I walk, snapping pictures here and there, I fancy my camera may capture an image of the other world that is veiled so very thinly at this time of day…
I sense the watchers…
and is gone in the blink of a lens.
(This photo is as it appears…I NEVER use photoshop!)
The sun has set into the west, far out on the Atlantic Ocean and the night draws in.
The candle is lit in the kitchen window, a soft light to welcome the night, while on the far side of the room a small lamp illuminates the dark.
“I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on,
The windows and the stars illumined, one by one,
The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily,
And the moon rise and turn them silver. I shall see
The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass;
And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass,
I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight,
And build me stately palaces by candlelight.”
― Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal
The Blackbird has sung out the day and in the night, as it flies around it’s territory, marking out it’s boundary in song.
“Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev’ning in.”
― William Cowper, The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper
The time between blue and black is quiet, almost timeless.
Being able to upload 31 photos is a real treat for me, and, I hope you will get a taste of Bealtaine Cottage today.
I have snapped these minutes ago and come straight in to upload and write this blog…taking time en route to give Jack a cracker treat.
As you can see he’s fully engrossed with chomping!
There is an abundance of Poppies this year…these are just outside the back door and almost ready to burst open!
Thanks and blessings to my dear friends and supporters of the Bealtaine Cottage project.
It is so very heartening to read the wonderful feedback and special messages of support.
There was enough rain overnight to half-fill the water barrels and all is looking lush this morning! Aquilegia is in full bloom and has grown well from an extra scattering of seeds I did last Autumn. Here is the perennial Yellow Poppy.
This seed sold out fast last year, so I shall be harvesting as much as I can this summer.
It’s a much smaller, more delicate bloom, but strong and hardy!
I’ve moved potted seedlings and more robust plants out of the tunnel.
Planting will be wherever I can find a space!
The symbolism of the Goddess is not a parallel structure to the symbolism of God the Father.
The Goddess does not rule the world…She is the world!
Manifest in each of us, She can be known internally by every individual, in all her magnificent glory.
The Permaculture design and planting at Bealtaine is not just inspired by the Goddess, but is the Goddess manifest…as natural and intuitive as the energy that flows from Mother Earth herself.
This is the difference between Permaculture and Goddess-inspired Permaculture.
The spirit is fed as much as the stomach!
Each Summer the harvest grows more abundant. Redcurrants hang in droplets waiting to ripen and reveal their jewel-like qualities.“
Hawthorn has opened…
Garden paths become enclosed, dark, shady places…
The Spindle bush sits covered with blossom yet to open…
“I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic
and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.” – Violette Leduc
To meet it — nameless as it is —
Without celestial Mail —
Audacious as without a Knock
To walk within the Veil.” – Emily Dickinson
Lilac is open…
“That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me,
who could ask for more?”
– Bev Adams
“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most
beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James
“The smell of manure, of sun on foliage, of evaporating water, rose to my head; two steps farther,
and I could look down into the vegetable garden enclosed within its tall pale of reeds – rich chocolate
earth studded emerald green, frothed with the white of cauliflowers, jeweled with the purple globes
of eggplant and the scarlet wealth of tomatoes.” – Doris Lessing
Today is an exciting and very uplifting day for Bealtaine Cottage and me! For the past year or so it’s been utterly frustrating not being able to share on this website.
Restrictions were placed upon me in relation to upload space for photographs, as I had used up virtually all of the allocated space of 13GB, which is that allowed on the Premium Plan from WordPress.
Well, today I paid for an upgrade which allows me unlimited upload space…a treat for myself and, I’m hoping one for you too!
As I type there is a lovely soft rain falling outside, refreshing and renewing the earth.
The same has happened here for me on the website…I feel a sense of renewal and excitement!
To be honest, writing and photographing Bealtaine Cottage and Mother Earth constitutes my first love!
Much as I love the interaction on social media, it can be very time-consuming and ultimately takes away from the work I do here!
The payment of an extra 200 Euros was necessary for the extended plan, but this liberates me from the strictures of what I can put out there for everyone to enjoy.
I will continue with the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website and am working on a plan to do a sort of “joined-up”daily blog…watch this space! And so the story of Bealtaine Cottage continues, moving onwards and upwards!
“Country things are the necessary root of our life – and that remains true even of a rootless and tragically urban civilization. To live permanently away from the country is a form of slow death.”
― Esther Meynell
And so I hope to continue bringing the country to you!
Sharing this little sacred space in the west of Ireland, with the world…
The seasonal changes, garden, wildlife and Mother Earth…
The song of the Goddess and her inspired Permaculture…
Photographs (18 exclusive photos taken today) from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage on EarthDay 2016.
Words from the Earth Day network…on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.
We are now entering the 46th year of a movement that continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion, and motivate people to action.
In 1970, the year of our first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channelling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with ground-breaking ideas and by the power of our example.
And so it begins. Today. Right here and right now. Earth Day is more than just a single day — April 22, 2016.
This Earth Day and beyond, let’s make big stuff happen. Let’s plant 7.8 billion trees for the Earth. Let’s divest from fossil fuels and make cities 100% renewable.
Yes, I have a mortgage and some bills to meet each month and this is my only source of income. The free website, Bealtaine Cottage, has almost reached maximum capacity at 97.8% of 13 GB allowance at a cost of 199 Euros per year. Bealtaine Cottage Good Life has the same 13 GB allowance, but with only 18% used, so you can see why I now publish new blogs on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life! My total expenditure on both sites and internet maintenance now exceeds 700 Euros.
I will continue to write about, and photograph, Mother Earth whether you subscribe/donate or not…but I so appreciate those who do! …blessings to all XXX Colette
Those of you familiar with Bealtaine Cottage online and the many hundreds who have visited will be interested to see the results of what a little paint can do in terms of brightening up a home.
Yes, I’ve been busy over recent days, stood on a step-ladder, paintbrush in one hand and paint tin in the other, alongside dusters to remove the heaps of cobwebs…eek!
There’s a certain old world loveliness to “Duck Egg Blue,” as the paint is referred to, more often than not!
The colour is reminiscent of the eighteenth century and the novels of Jane Austen…a favourite author of mine.
There’s a simplicity about the soft pastel shades which bring out the best in an old cottage.
Decorating a cottage is fairly simple too, as the walls and general layout are quite forgiving…in other words, anything goes as long as it’s a good mix of styles and time periods, for a cottage is a harbourer of both!
The wooden chest of drawers in the corner is relatively new-style, but provides a practical function of storing clothes not in seasonal use…and what better position, than by the chimney wall, where dampness is never an issue!
It’s a fuss-free environment indeed! Decorating an old cottage works well when one projects personality and quirkiness into the general style…in my case it’s always a case of what frugality allows for, so an eclectic style is as much practical as it is creative.
A reflection of what the great William Morris once said…”Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”...that allows me free reign really!
Cosy. Practical. Colourful. That’s what works for me.
The colours will also be a good backdrop to Samhain and Yule decorations…as many of the pumpkins are seasoned indoors and the window ledges are needed for storage too.
And as for the paint…well, it does go a long way…
Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.
Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.
To subscribe, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber list.
Click on button below to join the website…
Bog Oak Pendants are available from the Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop.
Each pendant is hand-crafted from locally sourced Irish Bog Oak, an ancient and profoundly mysterious wood that’s been buried in the Irish peat bogs for thousands of years.
These pendants are hand carved from wood dated as 5,600 years old.
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.
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.
It too was dusted with a covering of light snow.
I retreated to the warmth of the cottage and watched the snow fall.
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!
Sammy-Bear often sleeps in my bedroom to escape Charlie, who often makes great sport from terrorizing his betters!
Charlie and Jack are quite good friends now.
It’s a hierarchical relationship…Charlie’s the boss!
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.
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!