An Irish Cottage Garden and Homestead in Spring

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The promise of peaches growing outdoors in the west of Ireland, another Bealtaine Cottage first! Blossom on these home grown trees, grown from seed, is looking good. So far, with only the first month behind us, this has been a remarkable Spring!

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New Bird Boxes have been added to the rich habitat, now in its fifteenth year on these three acres.

IMG_1967The interior of the tunnel has been remodelled  to create a sanctuary in which to enjoy being in the garden, even in very wet weather!

IMG_1678Sanctuaries are much needed in today’s world!

IMG_1965The plastic has been washed inside and out, ready for its fourteenth year!

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IMG_1963The area around the tunnel, which includes compost heaps and potting corner, is now tidy.

IMG_1961Crocosmia is growing into fine clumps of lime green foliage.

IMG_1959Rhubarb doesn’t need forcing in the mild climate enjoyed here in the west of Ireland. IMG_1960Beds have been well mulched and Rhubarb banked up with enriched compost.

IMG_1954Work in the garden never stops, because Mother Earth never sleeps.

Sweet Peas have successfully germinated outdoors in plastic buckets. Many of you have been following this experiment.

IMG_1953IMG_1952There are lots more seeds germinating in this way and I expect them to be stronger and hardier for their experience being outdoors, even through the recent snow!

IMG_1949In between the outdoors work, clothes are hand-washed and hung out to dry in the wind and sporadic sunshine.

IMG_1948IMG_1947Potatoes are arranged to chit, as pots are brought together and prepared for potato planting.

IMG_1955In a home without television, reading is the great entertainment…my book of the moment is all about the incredible life of Vita Sackville-West…a rollicking good read in the form of a wonderful biography by Victoria Glendinning.

IMG_1940And, as always, whenever the weather allows, the back door is thrown open to welcome in the day that’s in it!

Books, Map, Calendar and Bumper Sticker selection…

Bealtaine Cottage Press: 

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

February in the Goddess Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.

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Work has continued unabated all this week. I managed to get a load of cardboard to begin mulching the problem bed over by the Lughnasadh Garden.

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Here I have laid the aboard and mulched with chipping from the garden shredder and laid another layer of cardboard.

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The progress is fairly rapid, with the exception that all the chipping come from the gardens, so pruning and shredding has to happen in conjunction with the mulching…and that takes quite some time!

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These are the magnificent red dogwoods that I am pruning at the moment…providing lots of mulch.

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The shredder is electric, second hand and the cheapest one on the market. It serves me well, but capacity is limited!

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The Robin keeps me and Jack company as I work.

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All the Laurel pruned last week is now laid as weed-suppressant mulch, as well as small mammal habitat. Goddess permaculture is about ALL LIFE!

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This week has been both cold and wet, so the occasional sunshine is worth photographing…I keep my camera with me as much as possible.

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The days are getting longer, with dark drawing down around 5.30pm.

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The sap is rising in the plants, developing a depth of lovely colour!

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Work in the tunnel continues, as I move from task to task in order to remain enthused with energy…small results are energising!

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I walked down through the gardens this morning and took these photographs.

IMG_1541It was delightful to see the first catkins on the willow.

IMG_1547IMG_1552Heavy rain fell last night, so the pond was gushing!

IMG_1554IMG_1556IMG_1557Back up to the cottage to write this blog and upload some of the photographs. I have heaps more that I may put on a slideshow on YouTube.

Thank you for your continuing support…I will continue to happily share freely.

Blessings X Colette

Mind, Body and Spirit Wellness

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Yesterday I spent much of the day in a workshop group learning all about needle felting. It was a day well spent, for I was with others and being creative.

I made this…

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We often forget how it feels to simply be.

IMG_6885To be oneself.

IMG_6900To be with others.

IMG_6893To be happy.

IMG_6904To be quiet and still.

IMG_6910To simply be!

IMG_6891We have forgotten…be kind, be kinder.

IMG_6911We are oft times unkind to ourselves.

IMG_6912We can never fully know or understand what others are struggling with, yet we all know the value of a kind word, a caring call or a shared coffee.

IMG_6914Being kind opens the door to personal happiness.

IMG_6918Body wellness is centred around being kind to oneself…something many of us never really think about…especially if we have others to care for.

IMG_6922In the past I have often posed the question, “who cares for the carers?”

IMG_6923Kindness changes everything.

IMG_6924This was the abiding message in the famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” and yes, Rime is the correct spelling!

IMG_6925Being kind and casting a blessing on ‘slimy’ creatures, allowed the mariner to be freed from the corpse of the Albatross.

IMG_6930It is an epic poem and one worth reading, for it is a marvellous story and lesson.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.
O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
The self-same moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.
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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads.
Blessings to you all XXX Colette

Observed by Consciousness

Reality only exists when it is observed…

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These are images I photographed yesterday…what I observed here in the woodland gardens and food forest that is now Bealtaine Cottage.

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Reality can only be observed by consciousness.

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Is this why we are here?

IMG_6773Are we part of the consciousness of Mother Earth?

IMG_6771I believe we shape the beauty around us with both our physical selves and our conscious minds.

IMG_6769We often hear the statement, ‘seeing is believing.’

IMG_6768I say, believing is seeing.

IMG_6766Belief in the sentient being that is Mother Earth has formed a major part of the energy that has manifested here.

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Not so long ago, the reality of this land was a different picture.

There are links at the top of this page where you can see what was…

IMG_6761IMG_6756IMG_6757IMG_6755From the very first time I saw this place I envisioned a cottage in the woods, surrounded by the music of Nature and the beauty of life.

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And here it is.

Blessings X Colette

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€25.00

In Search of The Goddess Rising

This is the second book in the Goddess Permaculture series from Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland. In this book I explore the ancient landscape, mythology, literature and life around Bealtaine Cottage… in search of the Great Goddess. The price of the book includes all postage and packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€19.00

Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€10.00

Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter

A little Yuletide book filled with colour photographs, recipes, reflections, lore, poetry and mirth to guide you through the wonderful days ahead. Fifty pages of sheer delight from Bealtaine Cottage to you. The book is fully bound and can be posted direct as a gift. Price includes P&P worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€13.00

Special Offer

In Search of the Goddess Rising and The Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter…both books normally cost €32.00 but can be purchased together for for €28.00 which includes P&P Worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€28.00

A Feast of Spring

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Spring forever appears
the soothing music part
of lyrics unspoken.
It thaws the frozen fears,
mends the wounded heart
that Winter has broken.
~Aarno Davidson

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Tomorrow is the national holiday of Ireland, St Patrick’s Day. As is the norm., the weather is promised cold and a little unpredictable in terms of snow, rain and wind. Here at Bealtaine Cottage the march of Spring continues unabated.

Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.

~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

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As always, the mornings here are filled with promise and, usually, sunshine.

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Ribes sanguineum have exploded into a bright pink fuzzy life, enticing the solitary Bees to awaken from hibernation.

IMG_5095Their heady aroma moves through the trees in a binding spell of delight.

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It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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Awake, thou wintry earth –
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, “An Easter Hymn”

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Hazel Catkins add a yellow hue to a backdrop of blue.

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I’ve banished Winter, saith the Spring,
Awake! arise, ye flowers!
Brisk breezes blow,
Bright sunshine glow,
And rouse the young Year’s powers.
~Henry James Slack (1818–1896)

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Despite March’s windy reputation, winter isn’t really blown away; it is washed away. It flows down all the hills, goes swirling down the valleys and spills out to sea. Like so many of this earth’s elements, winter itself is soluble in water…. It is a wet world, winter’s harsh grip beginning to relax…. An outcropping ledge on the hillside sheds its beard of icicles and becomes a seep spring that drips into a shallow pool that feeds a growing runlet.

~”Washing Winter Away,” The New York Times, 1964 March 17th

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Now when the primrose makes a splendid show,
And lilies face the March-winds in full blow,
And humbler growths as moved with one desire
Put on, to welcome spring, their best attire…

~William Wordsworth, “Poor Robin,” March 1840

And so by degrees the winter wore away… and the chill, bitter, windy, early spring came round. The comic almanacs give us dreadful pictures of January and February; but, in truth, the months which should be made to look gloomy in England are March and April. Let no man boast himself that he has got through the perils of winter till at least the seventh of May.

~Anthony Trollope (1815–1882), The Chronicles of Barsetshire

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March brings breezes loud and shrill,
Stirs the dancing daffodil.

~Sara Coleridge (1802–1852)

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I hope you enjoyed this feast of Spring…Blessings X Colette

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€25.00

More titles…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

 

How To Make A Willow Arch For Your Garden…For Free

Go out, go out I beg of you
And taste the beauty of the wild.
Behold the miracle of the earth
With all the wonder of a child.

~Edna Jaques

 

The miracle of Spring is now very close. Birds are beginning to sing and all over the woodland gardens of Bealtaine Cottage, life stirs.

 

I am sharing this post with you all today, as Willow can be collected at this time of year and used to great beauty in the garden.

This is How To Make A Willow Arch…

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Making a Willow Arch for the Lughnasadh Garden…this is a living arch and will provide food for the Bees.

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Take two long lengths of Willow.Any length over 6ft will do! All long Willow is suitable for this project. I used a mix.

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Strip off leaves…no need to do this in winter or early spring.

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Insert each piece into earth on either side of what will be ab entrance…so, 2-3ft apart will do!

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Push each piece of willow in a minimum of 3 inches.

It will soon root!

Wind the tops together over your head.

This will be the finished height, though it will continue to grow!

Next, add more lengths near to the first two and twist around the willow frame…

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Twisting will tighten and strengthen the arch.

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Add more lengths and use each new one to tighten and straighten the arch…pull into shape as you twist.

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If you feel you,re not getting the shape you want, lengths can easily be removed and you can start again…don’t be afraid to experiment!

Now add a second arch about 6-10 ins behind the first.

Once in line, insert some more willow by this new arch and pull the lengths forward to the first one…about halfway up the structure as seen here.

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Do the same on the first arch, pulling the lengths onto the second, so both criss cross.

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You may add some more Willow…but this is the structure safely in place, where it will continue to grow and thicken.

dsc02907 (1)This will form one of the entrances to the new Lughnasadh Garden.

There is a selection of books written by Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, available here…the bookshop supports the entire work of the Bealtaine Project.

 

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€25.00

 

In Search of The Goddess Rising

This is the second book in the Goddess Permaculture series from Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland. In this book I explore the ancient landscape, mythology, literature and life around Bealtaine Cottage… in search of the Great Goddess. The price of the book includes all postage and packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€19.00

 

Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter

A little Yuletide book filled with colour photographs, recipes, reflections, lore, poetry and mirth to guide you through the wonderful days ahead. Fifty pages of sheer delight from Bealtaine Cottage to you. The book is fully bound and can be posted direct as a gift. Price includes P&P worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€13.00

 

Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€10.00

Midsummer and the Earth is Singing

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The back door of the cottage lies open.

IMG_2240Outside the birdsong carries vibrant energy over the land.

IMG_2233On this, the longest day of the year, the Earth in the northern hemisphere basks in the glow of seemingly eternal light.

IMG_2221The shades of green seem endless, a patchwork of effervescence with splashes of outrageous colour.

 

Ox-Eye Daisy and Feverfew compete in the borders of the Lughnasadh Garden.

IMG_2225As fast as flowers open they turn to seed and the future summers to come.

 

Bees are everywhere, feasting and dancing through their very own garden of abundance and delight.

IMG_2220The hard work of the winter, creating the Lughnasadh Garden, has paid such rewards as could only have been imagined.

IMG_2215Midsummer marks the year in glorious technicolour and song, as befits Mother Earth. It’s like a birthday for her!

IMG_2187I have run out of space on this land…there is little room for more…yet more grows and arrives as gifts.

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I will be hosting another workshop on July 1st.

IMG_2208The workshop on July 1st covers aspects of co-creating a garden with Mother Earth, creating micro-climates, incorporating fruit and vegetables and the no-dig method of establishing, building and maintaining a regenerative Eden.

IMG_2205 Aspects of seed saving will be part of the day.
IMG_2171A full walk and talk of the gardens will also be included.
IMG_2203You are welcome to take photographs and ask all the questions you may want.
IMG_2200Please allow for the weather in your outdoor clothing considerations…and footwear.
IMG_2199The day begins at 11am and finishes at 5pm.
IMG_2191Morning and afternoon tea and vegan cakes are included.
IMG_2196A vegan lunch, also included, is served at 1.30pm.
Spring water is provided.
The cost is 75 euros.

Please email Colette to check availability as two places are already taken.

IMG_2185As of this posting there are two spaces left.

I will update when all places are filled.

This is the button to use for payment once your place is confirmed.

 

 

If you would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, there are two ways you can do just that…

Here is the link to my new Patreon page
https://www.patreon.com/user?u=6605173

Here is where you can send a donation via PayPal:
https://www.paypal.com
coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com

 

 

 

Goddess Permaculture 39…Exposed!

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Thirty nine photographs of the Goddess at her best, as we rise towards Midsummer…a mere twenty four days away!IMG_1558

An abundance of fruit, flowers and vegetables, captured this morning on film, images from a small part of the three acres of Bealtaine Cottage, in the west of Ireland…all growing on this “poor” agricultural land.IMG_1559

I won’t take up too much of your time with words, for I would rather you simply enjoy the images, as I have done whilst drinking my morning coffee and walking the land.IMG_1560

Many thanks to Majella and Derek who brought me the beautiful little Oak saplings yesterday…that’s the pic at the top of this post!IMG_1561

I wish you all a Happy Sunday with blessings for the week ahead, from all here at Bealtaine Cottage…May you embrace the joy from Mother Earth XXX Colette XXXIMG_1562IMG_1563IMG_1564IMG_1565IMG_1566IMG_1567IMG_1568IMG_1569IMG_1570IMG_1571IMG_1574IMG_1575IMG_1577IMG_1578IMG_1579IMG_1580IMG_1581IMG_1582IMG_1583IMG_1584IMG_1589IMG_1590IMG_1591IMG_1593IMG_1594IMG_1596IMG_1597IMG_1598IMG_1599IMG_1599IMG_1572IMG_1573IMG_1588IMG_1585IMG_1595IMG_1600

The book “A Cottage and Three Acres,” is now available to purchase…with 71 colour photographs!

 

The cost of the book is 21.00 euros, plus 5.50 P&P for addresses in Ireland, 6.50 P&P the rest of the world.

Thus books posted to Ireland, total cost 26.50 euros

All other countries worldwide, total cost 27.50 euros

Once through to Paypal, currency conversion is worked out for you. I will acknowledge your order ASAP.

To order and pay, use this button…

 
 
 You can also pay by cheque, made out to Colette O’Neill and posted to:
Bealtaine Cottage
Ballyfermoyle
Keadue
Boyle
County Roscommon
Ireland
 
(Don’t forget to include your name, inscription if wanted and full address.)
 
For a taste of the book…click on this link…
https://bealtainecottage.com/a-cottage-and-three-acres-the-bealtaine-story/

Mother

“I was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system.”

~ Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland

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Walking through the upper gardens this morning and snapping photographs as I went…

DSC06686As I walked I thought about my Mother, my Grandmother and some of the women who have influenced my life, as Mother’s Day approaches…

DSC06687Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland was certainly one of those women!

DSC06694“The Irish presidential election of 1990 was the tenth held in Ireland and the first to include a female candidate. Independent politician Mary Robinson would go on to hold office for the next seven years. In the 1990 election, the Labour Party let it be known that it would run a candidate for the first time and nominated Robinson, a former Labour Party senator, and liberal campaigner. The renegade had been involved in the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform and is widely regarded and respected as atransformative figure in Ireland for liberalizing and revitalizing what was a conservative and low-profile political office. She was a remarkably popular president.” ~ http://www.irishcentral.com

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And so the transformation of Ireland and Irish politics began.

The patriarchal system of state and church had been given a bit of a shake down, but the real change began as we all began to feel more confident about questioning the world in which we lived.

DSC06672My own questions formed around the environment in which I lived, most importantly the Earth and our relationship with her.

I dreamed about returning to Ireland and challenging the status quo of land stewardship. Was it possible to do the seemingly impossible and recreate the Ireland of my deepest dreams?

A land of trees and woodlands, abundant wildlife, flowers and rich, seasonal colour?

A land of abundant food and shelter?

A land dedicated to the Great Mother…Earth?

Moreover, to even attempt to do this on some of the poorest land in Ireland?

DSC06682I felt empowered by Mary Robinson, as many women at home and abroad felt and continue to feel empowered.

DSC06683The opportunity to fulfil my dream came over a decade later, when, throwing all caution to the wind, I embarked on what was to become known as the Bealtaine Project.

DSC06685The book, “A Cottage and Three Acres,” picks up the story…

As I worked, sometimes into the night, planting and tending a hopeless looking land, I felt continual waves of compassion for Mother Earth.

I coaxed her, talked to her and sometimes even sang to her, the way one does with a seriously ill patient whose doctors have all but given up hope.

DSC06695I was not the only one though, for many, many others were embarking on a similar path all across Earth.

DSC06698I spoke with all who visited Bealtaine Cottage about Mother Earth, when few people seemed to recognise her plight.

But, something very incredible was happening…

DSC06699There was a distinct sense of energy rising from the very Earth herself…a form of communication at the most deeply intuitive level.

DSC06708 After years of feeling outcast because of what I sensed and felt, there happened a mighty shift in perception.

DSC06714As I began to write and photograph what was happening at Bealtaine, so many of you tuned in…often in the most serendipitous of ways!

DSC06715But, it was not accidental, for all is connected and often in ways we do not understand.

DSC06717And so the website began reaching  people all over the world.

DSC06718What began as an impossible dream, became a reality of hope for many…that nothing is impossible!

DSC06723That the doors of perception are not locked and barred!

DSC06724We are all, each and every one of us on an incredible journey, each one unique, yet deeply connected to all and everything.

We may live alone, but we are never alone.

DSC06730We are beautiful souls experiencing a human journey with the greatest Mother of them all…our own Mother Earth.

Happy Mother’s Day!

**********************************************

A Cottage and Three Acres by Colette O’Neill