A good analogy is to look at one’s own household.
Do you consume more than you produce?
Keep borrowing and eventually the crunch will come…payback time, with nothing in reserve to pay what’s owed.
Many people refer to this as, living beyond one’s means.
If this is what you are doing, then it’s time to take control of your own micro economy.
Leave your government to continue paying bankers grossly inflated sums of money and try to re-calibrate your own finances.
I was enjoying a long conversation with my mother on Monday.
Growing up through WW2 was the greatest lesson in personal finance for her. (This is her, aged 80, at Bealtaine Cottage).
If one did not have money, one could not buy goods or services.
That proved to be enormously enabling for that generation…one of the healthiest and most empowered ever known in the modern world.
She has never been over-weight, birthed 11 children and did not own a washing machine until I bought her one. (My elder brothers never quite got their heads around why she would need one!)
Mum has always lived within her means and helped all of her children as well.
If Mum ran the economy, the bankers would be paid according to their productivity…and politicians also!
Many people of limited means have bought flowers for their loved one…flowers grown in Kenya in Africa by using water from Lake Naivasha.
This has had a devastating effect on plant, marine and animal life.
Hippo numbers have fallen by more than 25%.
The lake is now quite polluted with pesticide drain off.
University of Leicester environmentalist David Harper told the March 28, 2006, British Times: “Almost everybody in Europe who has eaten Kenyan beans or Kenyan strawberries, and gazed at Kenyan roses, has bought Naivasha water.
“It will become a turgid, smelly pond with impoverished communities eking out a living along bare shores … As the lake becomes smaller and shallower it will become warmer, fueling the growth of microscopic algae.
“It is only a matter of time before the lake becomes toxic.”
The Food and Water Watch report said: “The pesticides applied on the farms and in the greenhouses eventually end up in Lake Naivasha and in the groundwater, endangering the area’s people and wildlife … http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/49188
These are mostly roses, and a third of annual production is for Valentine’s Day.
For less than the cost of a cheap bunch of flowers, you can buy a fruit tree and plant it for the one you love.
Ireland is capable of producing a lot of food, not just meat and dairy, but fruit and vegetables of all kinds.
We could have a great wool industry!
We were famous for our Crystal from Waterford!
Irish people are hard-working and dedicated.
What is needed is courage, integrity and honesty in our political leaders.
We need political leaders with vision and confidence…
If only we had leadership…
I have cut back many of the Dogwoods in the upper gardens and have been busily replanting some of the better cuttings.
The entrance to the Fairy Dell is enveloped in the striking reds of Dogwoods.
These easy to grow [stick a wand in the earth] shrubs are incredibly valuable to me…the stems remain a vivid red all winter, I use them in Willow wreaths for vibrant colour and vase arrangements in the cottage to brighten a dull day.
The birds will eat the juicy ripe berries and the bees will enjoy the delicate spring flowers on the old stems.
Cobwebs everywhere shining with tiny drops of dew.
I walked through the Fairy Dell to the sound of the Blackbird rustling about among the fallen leaves, searching for breakfast!
It wasn’t just the mountains that had disappeared, this morning, into the mist, but most of the land as well.
My garden had vanished this morning!
It’s strange because the air was so still and the bird calls seemed to echo in the mist.
I hope it’s like this at Samhain…so many preparations are under way, especially gathering in the apples and preparing them for the freezer.
Despite the warm and sunny days, nights are cold and lots of little creatures are seeking hibernation spots…
I have to keep the windows closed at night for fear of having to share this cottage with too many visitors!
Working in the gardens today. The evening has arrived. It’s hot and still and sweat appears effortlessly. To chill out I decided to just ramble around the gardens here at Bealtaine, mug of coffee in one hand, camera in the other.
These are some of the poppies grown from seed this year…all are different shades of pink and red and white and, I hope, perennial.
I have often thought that what we need more than any religion in the world today is a spiritual order that will teach a sense of belonging to Earth and communion with Nature. I say this because working on this land over the past seven years has brought a sense of spirituality into my life that was never before experienced. This spirituality is creation centred and allows me to see the Divine in so much of Nature that it sometimes takes my breath away.
Even though all our institutions and governments are in debt, it isn’t money that we lack in our lives today…it is that spiritual awakening we most need and it is that which will change our lives and our communities.
Over recent decades we have been exposed to great materialism, yet drug and alcohol abuse increases daily. Here in Ireland, a study out just today, has put Irish motorists at the very top of European drivers surveyed for drug and alcohol abuse. Even here, in this green island paradise, there is a deep disconnect!
Growth on all of the trees planted here has been amazing this year. As I walked through the land I stopped often to look at trees that I had simply forgotten I had planted…they now towered above my head and appeared to look down at me. I almost felt like an intruder!
Through a glass darkly…April Fool in the garden, reflection from a mirror.
Today is the first of April and the radio is talking about economic growth, again, and will continue to do ad infinatum…the only growth worth talking about is what happens here, on earth, on terra firma and there is so much growth it can be difficult keeeping up with it. The government’s economic growth for Ireland is only to pay back ginormous debts to Europe! Growth here, at Bealtaine is about food, fuel, wildlife, love and happiness…permaculture paradise.
No money…but, no poverty…I look around me at abundance, on this, the first day of April.
Flower buds on the redcurrant promises an abundance of fruit, which in turn promises an abundance of wine and puddings and jam and jelly and…no money, but no poverty!
Fruit trees and bushes, interspersed in hedges promise abundance, fruit for chutney, freezing, fruit butter, pies, cordials…no money, but no poverty…abundance!
No need to buy peanuts for the birds at Bealtaine…no money for peanuts, but, abundance of food to sustain a wide and varied bird population. Spindle in the foreground…