“I was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system.”
~ Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland
Walking through the upper gardens this morning and snapping photographs as I went…
As I walked I thought about my Mother, my Grandmother and some of the women who have influenced my life, as Mother’s Day approaches…
Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland was certainly one of those women!
“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
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.
My 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?
I felt empowered by Mary Robinson, as many women at home and abroad felt and continue to feel empowered.
The 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.
The 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.
I was not the only one though, for many, many others were embarking on a similar path all across Earth.
I spoke with all who visited Bealtaine Cottage about Mother Earth, when few people seemed to recognise her plight.
But, something very incredible was happening…
There was a distinct sense of energy rising from the very Earth herself…a form of communication at the most deeply intuitive level.
After years of feeling outcast because of what I sensed and felt, there happened a mighty shift in perception.
As I began to write and photograph what was happening at Bealtaine, so many of you tuned in…often in the most serendipitous of ways!
But, it was not accidental, for all is connected and often in ways we do not understand.
And so the website began reaching people all over the world.
What began as an impossible dream, became a reality of hope for many…that nothing is impossible!
That the doors of perception are not locked and barred!
We 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.
We 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