The Arrogance of Certainty

IMG_2440Thirteen years ago I made a decision to follow my heart and return to Ireland, with a mighty quest.

IMG_2439I wanted to prove the cynics and naysayers wrong.

IMG_2438I believed it was possible and doable to repair Mother Earth…at least a small part of her, whatever little piece I could afford to buy.

IMG_2434Now, thirteen years is a short time in the scheme of things and those who have looked at the before pictures are as amazed as I am at the speed, health and abundance of her recovery!

IMG_2436It is important to state here, for the record, that most people I knew, including friends and family, seen my quest as a form of madness that had taken hold of me in my post menopausal state!

IMG_2435During all of the thirteen years, as I wrote and photographed the unbelievable progress of this little bit of Mother Earth, I became aware that I was one of a small, but increasing band of strange people who had heard the call and got stuck in, doing, what seemed to others, a crazily mad thing!

IMG_2434I became used to the naysayers and the cynics.

IMG_2433I looked up occasionally from my ceaseless planting and sowing and saw people who talked the talk in fine measure, but stopped there!

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Almost from the beginning of posting this blog, I have been lucky to have had some quite remarkable people who have made donations that have kept my mortgage going during the worst of times…and I have always struggled to keep the bank on the other side of the gate.

IMG_2430You know who you are and I am eternally grateful for your love and support!

IMG_2429At this thirteen year junction, for it feels like a crossroads for sure, I have become increasingly aware of what lies ahead…and, as with my strong feelings to do what others scorned some thirteen years ago, I care little for what the response is to my words…they must be recorded!

IMG_2428The arrogance of man is shocking indeed!

IMG_2422To have been so certain in the face of their own destructive ways, that the greatest seed bank ever built and guaranteed to last for centuries, if not millennia, was brought to within a hair’s breath of destruction within a few short years of its completion, should be the wake-up call of wake-up calls!

IMG_2421Read the arrogance of certainty in this Time article…

IMG_2416Now, we all know what happened this year, don’t we?

IMG_2415The Doomsday Vault has not even survived its first ten years!

IMG_2414So this brings me to what I want to say…

IMG_2408Things are changing faster than anyone could have expected!

IMG_2406I have witnessed the longest drought ever this year here in the west of Ireland.

IMG_2395The water table dropped in early April, the driest in forty years and has not risen since, but continued to fall!

IMG_2392We are now entering a period of great change.

IMG_2390The Arrogance of Certainty seems ridiculous with hindsight, for nothing is certain anymore!

IMG_2386Man has chosen to try to outrun Nature in a feeble attempt to remain in charge!

Mother Earth has poured scorn on his attempts in what was arrogantly termed the Doomsday Vault!

IMG_2442I continue to sow and plant…one of many little Arks across the Earth…and plant out the little clocks that
“Beats out the little lives of men.” ~Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

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Loss of Soul

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We live in a society and where darkness pervades our souls.

We continually invent ways to avoid and escape the darkness…one of which is endless buying of consumer goods.

Within our society today there is an illness that pervades all classes and levels of wealth, known as “Soul Loss.”

dsc03789It sounds like “Soul Less,” and indeed many people comment on aspects of our society that are indeed soul-less!

dsc03790Television programmes are more and more appealing to a lower denominator within audiences, especially reality shows that can be likened to much of the entertainment provided for the masses, referred to as “the Plebs, (short for Plebians), in Ancient Rome.

dsc03791 Many of these programmes are nothing but a reflection of the very worst in society!

dsc03792Jung described the unhappiness referred to as loss of soul, a concept borrowed from anthropology, referring psychologically to a state of general malaise.

dsc03793Many feel in today’s world that there is something missing from their lives, a sort of glue that holds everything together!

dsc03795Insomnia, depression and escapism through drugs or alcohol are all signs of Soul Loss.

dsc03796One can feel vulnerable, fatigued or simply not worthy!

dsc03797All of us have experienced some of these symptoms at some point in our lives and often refer back to them as low points.

dsc03798And it’s true indeed, for the soul feels as if it is dragged down.

dsc03799Much of commercial society today uses images, music and indeed brain-attack, to subjugate our beings into enslavement to the corporate will.

dsc03800So how do we overcome this dark malaise?

dsc03801 Well, it is often written and spoken about here at Bealtaine Cottage…reconnect with Nature! dsc03802Taking one’s sadness, vulnerability, confusion, low self-esteem into the heart of Nature and communing with Mother Earth in all her wondrous life can be the best medicine…healing gently and cumulatively. 

dsc03807Spend less time being undermined and insulted by media and more time recovering your soul.

 

Rustic and Free…Garden Ideas

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Everybody loves gardens!

DSC02454One of the flourishing businesses of our time is that of Garden Centres.

DSC02451I love walking around a Garden Centre, but can rarely afford to buy more than one or two plants…if that!

DSC02450But…I continue to develop the gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage…on a budget that more often than not hovers around the zero mark!

How is it done?

DSC02449With lots of inspiration from the greatest gardener of the lot, Mother Nature!

Lots of seeds and cuttings grow into plants that go to make the gardens, such as here by the front door.

DSC02448Home-made compost as well as compoost!

DSC02447Liquid fertiliser is always available…urine mixed 10:1 with spring water, (the cottage is fed by a Spring Well!).

DSC02446Old bits of wood, logs and tree stumps make wonderful edging.

DSC02445Broken terracotta pots and broken china help create the right effect in Rockery Gardens.

DSC02455House ornaments that are weather-proof help create the right atmosphere in the garden…

DSC02444Stones that are smooth…

DSC02443Stones that are big…

DSC02442Logs with mossy bits…

DSC02440Old candle holders topped with an old can of Sedums…

DSC02441Tree stumps with round stones atop…

DSC02439Silly concrete garden ornaments bought pre-loved at a Boot Fair and painted…

DSC02438…and more Sedums that tolerate neglect!

DSC02435Shells and broken bits of tiles…

DSC02434It’s a wonderful and fun way to create a small but interesting garden, where one wants to spend more time looking…

DSC02432Using wood and stone as well as a multitude of other materials helps create micro-climates where plants flourish.  

DSC02433Rustic gardens are full of texture and interest…

DSC02431Places where the old and unusual take on a new life…

DSC02429Like this old river stone in the shape of Gandalf’s hat!

DSC02427DSC02426DSC02425Garden pots and more ornamental shrubs can be incorporated too…

DSC02428I hope you make some of these ideas your own, for wildlife, especially Bees and insects benefit so much from rustic gardens!

DSC02422There are over eleven hundred blogs about Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens on this website, as well as over six thousand photographs…all free! 

Growing the BEALTAINE PROJECT one upload at a time…

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.

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Magical Spirits

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It’s a wet evening.

It’s a cool evening too.

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I’ve lit the stove and the kettle begins to sing on the top.

It’s a tea and toast kind of evening.

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I was thinking about Fairies today as I walked through the Fairy Wood.

It lies below the cottage, in a natural dell and is a very special place.

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There’s a Fairy tree in the centre of the woodland with a huge stone underneath it’s branches.

I’ve often wondered about the history and meaning of that tree and stone.

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I have been told that such a tree planted by a stone can mark the resting place of a person whose body was not allowed to be interred in the graveyard…the churches had all sorts of rules regarding who could and could not be interred in so called sacred ground…unbaptised babies, suicides etc…all of great sadness and shown little mercy…

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And so, while Jack plays with his football…for some reason he believes I want to steal it…I think about this tree, the Fairy Wood and…fairies…

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Fairies are widely regarded as magical spirits who can help humanity get closer to Nature and embrace harmony in the natural environment.

To the Celts, nature embodied the sovereignty of the Goddess.

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In comparison, within the church view, Nature is widely regarded as something amoral and fearsome, needing to be dominated and put to service.

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All this has led us away from our deep relationship with Mother Earth…we are now in a state of flux and near abandonment and we feel this deeply, with some more aware of the root of our unhappiness and others less, or in severe denial.

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“The creatures I seek do not want to be seen.”
Annie Dillard

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“These folk are hewers of trees and hunters of beasts; therefore we are their unfriends, and if they will not depart we shall afflict them in all ways that we can.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

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Maybe we need to think again about Fairies, for until we respect the natural world and our precious environment, we are doomed to be cast aside as Gaia struggles on her own…

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.

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Garden to Visit in Ireland…Unique…Permaculture!

Yesterday was a busy day for me as I worked tirelessly in the gardens, cutting, clearing and ensuring all the paths are open for visitors.

I always carry my camera with me, so here are some of the shots I took on my walk around after I’d finished my work!

It was a hard day, but, as you can see, well worth it.

I continue today and will share pics later on!

Love and Blessings XXX Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

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To arrange a visit to Bealtaine Cottage and the 3 acre Permaculture Garden created by one woman from monoculture land, go to

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Today at Bealtaine Cottage

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Rain fell last night and continues this morning.

There will be no lack of water in the well for the next few weeks!

DSC00663 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.

DSC00662I 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.

DSC00661In 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.

DSC00659Seed production is well under way, with some of the harvest already collected and much more coming to fruition.

DSC00660We are now one week away from Midsummer, as evidenced in the lush growth seen here! 

DSC00655We inter-breath with the rain forests, we drink from the oceans.  They are part of our own body.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

DSC00658The 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.

DSC00656 …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.  

~Vaclav Smil 

DSC00657Your 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.  

~Charles Cook  

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“If we are going to be kind, let it be out of simple generosity, not because we fear guilt or retribution.”
J.M. Coetzee

The Greatest Peace Initiative of Our Time

DSC00242This notion that man can, and should, have absolute dominion over the “chaotic” powers of nature and woman…is what ultimately lies behind man’s famous “conquest of nature” – a conquest that is today puncturing holes in the earth’s ozone layer, destroying our forests, polluting our air and water, and increasingly threatening the welfare, and even survival, of thousands of living species, including our own.

Riane Eisler
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I was aware from an early age, through extensive reading and observation, that women have long been associated with Nature.
DSC00173Even the metaphor we use for our planet, ‘Mother Earth’, for instance…our nurturing Earth!
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The language we have become over familiar with says it all.. a ‘virgin’ forest is one awaiting exploitation, as yet untouched by man.
DSC00176I have lived through the greatest exploitation and destruction of ‘virgin forests’, ever seen.
DSC00175It is something I would love to be able to wish away and part of the reason I have grown and planted over one thousand trees to co-create Bealtaine Cottage, with, Mother Earth.
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Working with the land, in much of the world, is women’s work.
DSC00178Apart from the violence of war and the destruction of the planet, women have been associated with the physical side of life.
DSC00182Even in biblical terms, women are ‘closer to nature’, and so to be kept controlled.
There is a real fear of Nature and all that She imbibes.
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Of course, when one takes a long look at how mankind has viewed Nature down through the past several thousand years, it becomes apparent that fear is the driving force.
DSC00185Nature is more powerful than human life.
DSC00186The control over Nature allows a fleeting feeling of control and empowerment…but, never for long, as we all know.
DSC00188So, in my own small way, recognising these truths, I embarked on a journey of making peace…with Her.
DSC00190The ultimate and final Peace Initiative.
DSC00192I come from one of the most devastated towns in Northern Ireland…Omagh.
DSC00193A town that endured such violence and suffering in the worst bombing witnessed on a quiet day in August of 1998.
DSC00198DSC00199DSC00200I mention this as it helps to contextualize my own life and motives for what I do…a complex study in itself!
DSC00202The only end to violence comes when people make peace with each other, or a situation.
DSC00205DSC00206DSC00207Peace and happiness is never birthed from subjugation and control.
DSC00208As a society that has both witnessed and endured these past two world wars, we should be in full receipt of that information!
DSC00213For twelve years now I have striven to make peace with Mother Earth. DSC00215The results are here for all to see.
DSC00216She is not to be feared.
DSC00222DSC00221She is not to be controlled.
(Can you see the little bird in flight from the box?)
DSC00217She is who we live WITH!
DSC00218I learned, to my shock, the other day, that Ireland relied heavily on the importation of Chemical Fertilizer from America during the years of World war Two!
DSC00219That was over sixty years ago, so one must assume that grass has only grown green from chemicals ever since!
DSC00220One must further conclude that alongside this continued abomination has come the loss of topsoil, for one goes hand-in-hand with the other!
DSC00223The ultimate Peace Initiative is working with Mother Earth to create topsoil, as evidenced here.
DSC00224Peace is to be nurtured and worked through.
DSC00237Peace comes with levels of compromise and sacrifice.
DSC00238Peace in our own life comes with persistence and negotiation and keeping the vision with us.
DSC00231Peace comes from the refusal to abuse, the refusal to not live ON Her, but WITH Her!
DSC00236The greatest war of all time is being fought in every garden, allotment, field, woodland, forest, river, ocean and all that makes up Mother Earth.
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The future of our children’s children lies within the reflection of our love for Mother Earth today.
We either make peace with Her or forfeit the lives of those whose faces we will never see!

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The Watchers

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Here in the study the light is low as the day fades into the west.  

DSC00106Ten O’Clock rings out as I take up my camera and head out into the warm evening.

DSC00107I 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. 

DSC00108“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 

DSC00109The light lends an ethereal touch to everything. 

DSC00110“When one tunes in into nature’s frequency, life becomes change, change becomes hope!”
Aniekee Tochukwu 

DSC00111The birds continue to fly to and fro their nestlings in a frenzy to keep them fed.

DSC00112Fortunately, 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. 

DSC00113DSC00114DSC00115“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 

DSC00117DSC00116DSC00118As always at this time of evening, there is magic in the air.

DSC00120DSC00121DSC00125Flowers are dancing in billows of colour around the cottage.

DSC00137DSC00127DSC00138As 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…

DSC00119DSC00124DSC00123I sense the watchers…

…and then

…something moves,

DSC00142and is gone in the blink of a lens.

(This photo is as it appears…I NEVER use photoshop!)

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The Simplicity of the Morning

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“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”
Henry David Thoreau 

DSC00013Half light and shadows as the morning comes into view.

DSC00012Reflections and sunlight as the day rises.

DSC00011The silent beauty of the morning is a template for us all to follow into day…quiet simplicity.

DSC00010Gazing around the cottage as I follow through on early morning rituals.

DSC00009Checking where Sammy-Bear spent the night, opening the door for Jack to go out…

DSC00008Lighting the stove to boil the kettle…

DSC00006Looking for where I put my camera last evening, for I should record this ethereal beauty of the early morning…

DSC00005Finally, making my pot of coffee and stepping out to embrace the day…

DSC00004The morning, the blessed morning…where all is possible.

DSC00003May the Goddess of the morning touch your heart with delight.

DSC00002May you be released into day, free from negativity and matters you do not control.

DSC00001Embrace your day…it’s a blessing! 

“When you rise in the morning, form a resolution to make the day a happy one for a fellow creature.”
Sydney Smith

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