The first week of July and there’s a feint scent of Autumn in the air this morning.
The morning brings a quiet and gentle beginning to the day, untouched by the continuing perplexities of man.
“Man has drawn artificial lines on the chest of the Mother Earth, which have no significance, except for the sake of war and clashes between countries. The soil seems to be the same, the trees the same, the grass the same, and the fragrance of the air, the smell of the earth the same.”
~ Girdhar Joshi
Yes it is…all the same…at most times hard to believe when one watches the circus of life on MSM.
Bread and circuses, but we all know and recognise real life.
It has a colour and fragrance all of its own.
“The earth is a mosaic, and most fail to notice the gossamer tesserae floating down from the realm of the mind that form its images of beauty and horror.”
~ Lawren Leo
I don’t know about you, but for the past decade or so I have felt a powerful force at work all round me.
I have seen it too!
It is a Universal force of such incredible energy that at times, I feel overwhelmed by it.
This force has made governments tremble and grown men cry.
It is unstoppable, all-consuming and, at times, can appear very frightening indeed.
Mankind has tried to tame it, harness it, even destroy it.
All to no avail.
She abides… Have you heard her call?
Are you listening?
Her name is Earth.
She is our Mother, our home, our future.
Humankind’s greatest priority is to reintegrate with the natural world. ~ Jonathon Porritt
If we are to use our tools in the service of fitting in on Earth, our basic relationship to nature–even the story we tell ourselves about who we are in the universe–has to change. ~ Janine M. Benyus
Our little Spaceship Earth is only eight thousand miles in diameter, which is almost a negligible dimension in the great vastness of space. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller
The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. ~ Rachel Carson
The world of life, of spontaneity, the world of dawn and sunset and starlight, the world of soil and sunshine, of meadow and woodland, of hickory and oak and maple and hemlock and pineland forests, of wildlife dwelling around us, of the river and its wellbeing–all of this [is] the integral community in which we live. ~ Thomas Berry
We can do nothing and keep revolving, remaining perfect fodder for governments, corporations and empires, or…
we can connect with Her and begin to evolve into what we are meant to be…part of Her.
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
For the 99 percent of the time we’ve been on Earth, we were hunter and gatherers, our lives dependent on knowing the fine, small details of our world. Deep inside, we still have a longing to be reconnected with the nature that shaped our imagination, our language, our song and dance, our sense of the divine.
Janine M. Benyus
As an integral part of the global awakening that is happening, humankind are being called back to the earth, to reconnect with Gaia.
Not everyone is feeling this at the same time…as each one of us on our own sacred journey comes to experience in own time.
This morning, awakening around six thirty, I ventured out into the gardens to experience the early morning mist, which, as I type at almost 11am, prevails.
Ireland has been experiencing some incredibly good weather in recent weeks and so it goes on.
In other parts of the world, devastating storms have wreaked havoc!
Yet, in all of this uncertainty and upset, the advance of those seeking to connect with Mother Earth increases.
We are like lost children in need of the comfort of a parent.
And perhaps this is a good thing, for to be like children on this Sacred Earth will connect us much easier than any other way.
So what is it about children that gives them the advantage in understanding their place in the Universe?
Could it be that they are naturally curious?
Is it our loss that we accept so much and question so little?
Have we allowed our lives to become subsumed in the detritus of the material world?
I often pass gardens where all is so perfectly straight and neat that I actively squint in attempting to see Mother Nature…and often I do not see Her at all!
Yet I know that control of Nature brings unhappiness and discontent…the sort of feeling where frustration begins to eat at one’s very soul!
So what are the tools we need to enable us to reconnect with Mother Earth.
I have the privilege to be able to observe small children when they visit Bealtaine with their parents and it is nothing less than a joy to behold!
They hold the keys to the kingdom!
What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more,
to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks
where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes,
or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that
tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!
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With my camera in one hand and mug of coffee in the other, I set off with jack for an early morning stroll around the garden and down as far as the end of the driveway.
As you can see it’s a beautiful morning!
My mind, as ever, began to focus on the beauty of all around me…for I live in a constant state of disbelief that all this has manifested from such barren land in little more than a decade!
We live in unprecedented times.
In what was promised as a post-war era of plenty on this abundant and beautiful planet, deceit and greed have overtaken and consumed the dream.
Mother Earth has been harnessed and shackled to the corporate nightmare.
War appears to be never-ending.
As George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
Jane Goodall, a wise and compassionate woman if ever there was, speaks and writes about the issues facing us today, in a world where little makes sense…
“Michael Pollan likens consumer choices to pulling single threads out of a garment. We pull a thread from the garment when we refuse to purchase eggs or meat from birds who were raised in confinement, whose beaks were clipped so they could never once taste their natural diet of worms and insects. We pull out a thread when we refuse to bring home a hormone-fattened turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. We pull a thread when we refuse to buy meat or dairy products from cows who were never allowed to chew grass, or breathe fresh air, or feel the warm sun on their backs.
The more threads we pull, the more difficult it is for the industry to stay intact. You demand eggs and meat without hormones, and the industry will have to figure out how it can raise farm animals without them. Let the animals graze outside and it slows production. Eventually the whole thing will have to unravel.
If the factory farm does indeed unravel – and it must – then there is hope that we can, gradually, reverse the environmental damage it has caused. Once the animal feed operations have gone and livestock are once again able to graze, there will be a massive reduction in the agricultural chemicals currently used to grow grain for animals. And eventually, the horrendous contamination caused by animal waste can be cleaned up. None of this will be easy.
The hardest part of returning to a truly healthy environment may be changing the current totally unsustainable heavy-meat-eating culture of increasing numbers of people around the world. But we must try. We must make a start, one by one.”
― Jane Goodall
There are some main differences between the times we live in and a few decades ago here in the western world.
Do you remember?
Do your parents recall?
Have you ever had this conversation…the one that begins with “consumption of food and acquisition of material goods never used to be like this!”
My diet as a child consisted of tiny amounts of meat two or three times per week.
Milk was limited to what was given out free at school.
Ice cream only ever was a Sunday treat during the Summer months.
Sweets were literally a treat…very rare indeed and brought by visitors to our home!
Clothes were handed down and rarely bought new!
Toys and games were what one got at Christmas or birthday if one was lucky!
Compare all that to now…
We have a consumer society gone mad!
We are devouring our world!
Our happiness levels have plummeted.
Seasonal food and life is unrecognizable to the majority of younger people.
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…
The paid subscription website, Bealtaine Cottage Good Life allows you to support my work in return for some extra special blogs and photographs…and allows me a small, but much needed, income.
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
To access Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, just go to the end of this page and click on the link…
Here’s what you’ve missed so far…66 unique blogs and over 1,000, only on this site, photographs…
A donation of 12 euros per year enables you full access to the Bealtaine Cottage Good life website.
“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”
― Wendell Berry
“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”
― Wendell Berry
You can also support Colette and her work at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland, by signing up to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…
“But there were certain early days in Casterbridge- days of firmamental exhaustion which followed angry south-westerly tempests-when, if the sun shone, the air was like velvet.”
― Thomas Hardy
Colours emerge and birds sing out a joyous, higher note.
We are officially in the season of Spring in the West of Ireland and the new energy is tangible, from rising in the morning to the growing lateness of dusk.
The temperature seems rather unstable, as you can see evidence of in the photograph above.
The morning began very cold and in the space of minutes, the temperature had climbed by 18 F., causing the mirror on the veranda to steam up!
I recorded this as most of the only real information about climate and weather appears to be anecdotal evidence from social media!
My favourite aspect of Spring is the way the light changes.
If one simply sat in this cottage and never ventured outdoors it would be possible to map the seasons in light play.
I expect birds, animals and even insects are similarly informed.
Living in the glare of artificial light can be dulling to our senses!
“She walks in the loveliness she made,
Between the apple-blossom and the water–
She walks among the patterned pied brocade,
Each flower her son, and every tree her daughter.”
― Vita Sackville-West, The Land
Elsewhere in the woodland gardens at Bealtaine, frogs have emerged from hibernation and busied themselves, as only frogs can in cold ponds!
Frogs in Bealtaine pond have the luxury of a shallow, sheltered, ancillary pond, hand dug by myself, just off the main one.
This water heats faster and earlier, ensuring maximum attention to the detail of frog mating and spawning…a sort of nursery pond!
Anyway, it works a treat and has done for the past eleven years.
As a consequence, the amphibian life force has healthily expanded!
“Woods were ringed with a colour so soft, so subtle that it could scarcely be said to be a colour at all. It was more the idea of a colour – as if the trees were dreaming green dreams or thinking green thoughts.”
― Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
Diversity of planting not only has created resilience, but bestowed all year round colour to Bealtaine Cottage…so appreciated as Spring emerges…for with this rising of the sap, comes a much defined colour change!
I’m happy to write, photograph, podcast, YouTube and Facebook on behalf of Mother Earth…it would be great if you could take a second or two to press the LIKE button, leave a comment, or even subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…
I continue to clear out spaces in my cottage and renew many aspects of my life…always a good preparation for Imbolc!
Happy Imbolc to you all!
I’m happy to write, photograph, podcast, Youtube and Facebook on behalf of Mother Earth…it would be great if you could take a second or two to press the LIKE button, leave a comment, or even subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…thanks for the appreciation! X
With the back door wide open and the birds singing out a chorus more resonant of Spring than Winter, welcome to Sunday morning at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland!
Despite the mild Winter, snow has fallen and added a seasonal touch to the landscape…in fact it remains on the mountains to the north of the cottage and here and there on banks and ditches.
I’ve been very busy in the gardens since the end of December, pruning hard, cutting back, washing the tunnel, cleaning pots and generally trying to stay ahead of the work that will suddenly seem oppressive at the start of Spring!
If previous years are anything to go by, the Spring will be very short and Summer will make itself known in mid to late March!
Shocking I know, but that is the measure of it!
So, for a gardener like myself there’s nothing else for it but to adapt!
Seeds are sown in the propagator and compost will be mixed today in preparation for the potting on that is to come in the next few weeks!
It’s a case of just getting on with it as best I can!
There is a distinct difference in the shadow patterns as the outline of the roof of the cottage falls beneath the tree tops…
“Much of the oxygen we breathe comes from plants that died long ago. We can give thanks to these ancestors of our present-pay foliage, but we can’t give back to them. We can, however, give forward. When we are unable to return the favor, we can pay it forward to someone or something else. Using this approach, we can see ourselves as part of a larger flow of giving and receiving throughout time. Receiving from the past, we can give to the future. When tackling issues such as climate change, the stance of gratitude is a refreshing alternative to guilt or fear as a source of motivation.”
― Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone
Sowing and planting, growing tiny trees in pots of hope, tending Mother Earth with love…brings me joy.
Sitting here, with the back door open in the middle of January, may be a cause for concern, but it is over-ridden by the call of Mother Earth from outside.
And for the many visitors to Bealtaine Cottage this year, there will be small pots of hope to take away…
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The conference in Paris is underway as I write this.
World leaders have gathered to discuss, debate, harangue and eventually come to some agreement…hopefully!
However, there are two aspects of any agreement, that the mainstream media will ignore, in their reporting of the biggest threat to face humankind ever!
The first one is evident to anyone living in the developed world: we have to consume less, much less and, in fact, change our entire perspective of how we live with this planet…not, as many say, on this planet!
This means reducing consumption of consumer goods, oil, but, more importantly, changing our diets and expectations.
We have become used to buying food from all over the world, holidaying all over the world, eating more meat than any other generation before us and living in homes where heat is supplied at the flick of a switch.
You will not hear political leaders talk such talk, as this has no place in “economic growth”…
Western society in it’s present form is unsustainable…even without the massive problem of Climate Change!
(For example…did you know that there are, today, nearly 65 billion animals worldwide, including cows, chickens and pigs, crammed into Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)…Factory Farms to you and me!)
We eat meat as a snack food…unheard of when I grew up!
However, much as the mainstream media ignore much of the above, there remains a most important part of this problem unspoken of…
War and the Military machines of increasingly feudal governments. They’re right up there in the major league of Climate destroyers!
Did Al Gore even mention the devastating impact of endless wars and military in his money-spinning presentation?
It was an Inconvenient Truth.
It represents the Elephant in the Room that no-one wants to talk about!
Last year, the UK government spent $60.5Billion on Defence.
A huge amount of money that could have provided solar power and retro-fitted insulation to millions of homes…yes, millions!
“Militarism is single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural disasters intensified by global warming.”
Some of the facts, should you care to research them are staggering… for example, an F-4 Phantom Fighter burns more than 1,600 gallons of jet fuel per hour!
It is interesting that the spin on war and climate change has already begun, with the media posing the question does climate change cause war and refugees.
Refugees do not cause climate change.
It is time we did a little number crunching for ourselves!
Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.
Seek sanctuary in the sacred…your life, your family, your friends…but especially your home, Mother Earth. I hope against hope to keep beauty alive in this little place.
Politicians drag their overblown egos to parliamentary podiums to huff and puff their cursed words of war .
There is nothing to stop their vile spewing of death and revenge, for our media is the dog that laps at the floor!
In a desperate attempt at solace, I turned into the pages of a book.
I was in search of inspiration, any small morsel of comfort, or even defiance.
I picked up an old poetry book of mine and randomly opened it to find Yeats and this…
The Second Coming was penned in the stunned aftermath of WWI.
This time, I fear it takes the place of a prologue… for what lies ahead.
THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
“Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF”
This shocking truth has been sinking in over recent months!
“Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found.” ~ The Guardian
Half of the animal life on the planet has been lost to human consumption.