A cold, snowy, wet morning still brings with it beauty in the glasshouse
Category Archives: life
Image courtesy of Free Irish Photos
As spring makes its vibrant presence known, my mind, heart and soul is tuned into vibrant life. I celebrate life. All around me, the earth is awakening and shaking its feathers out. You can almost hear the tiny leaf buds bursting through the ground in search of the sun. I celebrate my own life too. My life is satisfying and each day that goes by, I’m grateful for new experiences and good health. I could go on, but I wanted to talk about death and no, this is not, in my opinion, a morbid subject.
A few people in my circle of friends and family have experienced death recently, either that of someone close to them or a beloved pet… perhaps even the death of a dream. It happens. It’s part of the cycle of life. The whole point of the ‘cycle’ is that it continues. We’re born, but we’re not born from nothing. As we live, life and death are part of our passage through time. When we die, however we choose to finally ‘go’, we return to the earth to once again nourish life.
We have a family joke that goes back for years where we vowed to donate HRM’s body to science (yes, it is possible – http://hta.gov.uk/index.cfm) when he goes. That should keep the scientists fascinated for a time, I’m sure. Death, to us, has never been a morbid or scary subject, though we do go through heartbreak when we lose someone close to us, but that is because we miss them dearly.
There are so many bewildering options for when a loved one dies – or oneself, if you’re doing some advanced preparation. We’ve been there, sadly saying goodbye to far too many who were close to us. Cremation, burial, a bewildering choice of coffins and procedures. Death, like much of life, has become terribly commercial. I can’t think of anything worse to put loved ones through if I were to go! There are good choices though…. Someone posted a link to an article, which got me looking into more articles, which got me reading (you know how it goes) about options and I have to tell you, I think I have found the perfect way to recycle and recreate myself… a tree! I’ve always said that when I die, I want to be planted without a coffin at the foot of a tree, but this is way better, or at the very least, just as good.
The Bios Urn – You get cremated and the ashes are put into a biodegradable pot along with the seed of a tree. The pot then gets planted, so your loved ones can tend the tree and watch it grow. Isn’t that perfect? The tree will absorb the nutrients from the ash, so I’d be part of the tree. This isn’t a dream of extending my life force, but a dream of being able to help nourish a living thing in my own death. That tree would then go on to provide a home and resting place for all the birds I’ve loved to watch. The tree will glory in each season, giving shelter… and possibly food and homes to animals. Even if the tree gets cut down, it’s not that bad. It will warm someone’s hearth, provide furniture or a part of a home, or possibly become the paper onto which a young soul could journal (or do maths – now that’s karma!) as they go through their own life’s journey.
Today, I truly feel like a farmer’s wife again. As I sit here, I have a pot of Hermit Soup (a name I’ve just given it… for fun) on the stove – to be served with buttery slices of crusty Killruddery cheese bread.
Jurgis is snoring in front of the fire, sinking ever lower into the couch. We have spent the dark afternoon time watching videos on permaculture planning and design, drawing up elaborate plans involving chickens, vegetables, fruit trees and forests. At this point, I’m relatively content.
It’s out second day at The Cottage in the Wicklow mountains. We woke up to what we thought was a thick frost layer this morning. It was, instead, thin, icy snow and it stayed. Needless to say, I slipped on an icy log. I consider the place now initiated into my stability. No harm was done, though my dignity suffered yet another blow.
I set up the compost bin today and frittered away 10 minutes picking up pine cones, which are now, hopefully, drying out nicely over the fire. If not, they look decorative(ish). Jurgis has started clearing the pine. That will be a major job. We’ll need to get some serious equipment in to clear the part we’ve demarcated for the veggies and fruit trees. Right now, cleaning and clearing is about as much as we can do… at least until we get to see the owner again. He was meant to arrive last night, then today… maybe tomorrow. Time will tell. I have an internet bone to pick with him *Needs Internet*. The cottage is warm. Barring a fairly serious plumbing issue that was meant to be sorted out today (I think the plumber got lost or something), we’re fairly comfortable. It’s a huge change from the ‘palace’, but has its own compensations.
So why hermitage? We’re about 4km away from the nearest village, Roundwood, which boasts a population of 800+ and 5 pubs. Yes, it’s like that. We’ve met one of the local population, a chap who came to drop the top halves of a few pines that were threatening to fall on the cottage. He was nice and is now a familiar face. We’re considering a walk into the village on the weekend to see what it’s like and perhaps meet a few locals.
Life, at this point, is pretty good. Now if I could just get online… I’m missing talking to my little girl.
I picked up a book to read and was very annoyed because the slip-cover was for a different book, but I was stuck with this book, so I opened it… not my kind of read. Flipping through, though, I found something right at the back:
“Literacy is not education. I would rather see my people remain unlettered than taught to read the rubbish that floods the book-reading industrialised world of today. From the cultural point of view they will remain better off with their own classical and popular literature of which all have oral knowledge. This much is perfectly clear, a semi-literate population can be more easily misled with cheap literature, political pamphlets, and tracts on bogus economics and falsified history than the unlettered peasants of Penhari Parganas. A fertile brain is more capable of being poisoned than an unfertile one. Better untaught than ill-taught.”
Taken from Cradle of the Clouds by Sudhin N. Ghose
“You don’t have to hang out in the dark shadows today; cultivate magic by crossing over to the sunny side of the street.”
Simply words that make me smile. They appeared, of all places, in my horoscope long, long ago.
We’re closed to public during the week now. The still is so profound. The silence around me is broken only by the rustling of wind in the trees and the occasional krrrk of some bird hidden in the foliage. Even the chickens are quiet, except when I walk past, when they squalk indignantly that their daily bread and cake diet has come to an end.
Our new chick (seems there is to be only one) is thriving…
The pigs are bashing in the warm autumn sun. Now that’s the life!
Ken, gardener friend, found a newt among the plant pots. I took the little guy to the pond in the field usually reserved for sorting calves. We thought it was dead at first, but it slowly warmed up and was quite lively when I left it.
Lunch was a delicious bagel with smoked ham, roasted red pepper, chickenand some fancy cheese (I’ve forgotten what cheese it is), served with a rocket salad I’d just picked and freshly-picked apple.
Have you ever put your noise to a freshly-picked apple? Heavenly smell!
The working day ended with the loading up of three little boars into the horse box, then I took Meg for a walk up to the lake. Who can resist this face?
I don’t do numbers in any way. I’m the girl who, given three numbers to add together, will find a way to get the answer wrong. Having said that, I have an almost obsessive love affair with numbers… the kind of affair where you know it’s wrong, but you can’t help yourself.
I’m pulling seed off the mustard, counting each one. It’s a totally unconscious action. I count the onions as I pull them up.
I can climb the same set of stairs a hundred times a day and I’ll count each step each time. I can’t even begin to describe the weirder (even to me) parts of this affliction. How many people run their tongue over their teeth counting them? Ok, my secret is out. You now have conclusive proof of my strangeness!
I think I’m the only one in my family who will not rest until a number is memorised. I have every ‘life’ number in my head… our first car’s number plate, every phone number I have ever had (and Jurgis’ too) -even work numbers, and pin codes for every electronic device and financial institution. Birthdays and anniversaries are all there – mostly. This is where I come unstuck. I’m not good with dates. It frustrates me! I think it must be because dates aren’t really just numbers. They have words.
But…. I’m a word person! I love words. I’m (relatively) good with them. I can ‘add them up’ in reams. Just don’t ask me to remember names. I think that’s because my head is too full of pretty much useless numbers.
It’s a strange, strange world, this brain of mine…