Projects like these, which are sadly few and far between, are incredibly valuable. Life is stripped back to basics and people can discover a sense of respect and wonder for nature, and experience something different from their normal lives which can be lonely, frustrating and challenging.
Our environment gives us a world that has a past and present reality and provides opportunities to exercise and socialise. This project enables people, who may not have these opportunities in their day to day lives, to be a part of something wonderful which can only serve to build self belief,a sense of purpose and the realisation that we are part of something much bigger. This knowledge can help to put our problems into perspective.
This project allows people to relax and enjoy the outdoors while giving them the chance to work on the land, get back to nature and find out how food is produced.
There is something wonderful about going out in the morning, doing a hard days work and then actually seeing the results of our labour.
That's a real reward that money can't buy and extremely confidence boosting.
Parsnips have also been harvested, some so big, that it was only possible to dig half of them out!
We also started to dig some of the celeriac last week and leeks and carrots are still being harvested.
What better than parsnip or pumkin soup with roasted celeriac, all home made and home grown.
This is about getting back to basics and working on the land with the seasons.
By giving ourselves the chance to form a relationship with the natural world, we can learn to recognise that our landscape has it's own life and it's own spirit. If we respect the natural world we can live in harmony with it and we can live off it. Our ancestors lived off the land and by the seasons, and each season presented them with new challenges, but they listened to the land and the land gave them what they needed because they were in tune with nature, they were part of it. Going back to basics means reconnecting with nature, growing our own food and protecting mother earth for us and our children. It means becoming self-sustainable and self-sufficient. We can't do any of that if we don't feel part of our natural environment, so go out, be creative, FEEL GROUNDED: - explore, plant, pick, taste, oberve, listen, take photos and indulge in the wonder that surrounds us, the wonder that is OUR world.
When Rob and I exchanged our rings during our Joyfest ceremony, these were the words that my brother spoke:
"These rings, a token of your love for one another, will serve as a reminder that all in life is a cycle, all comes to pass and passes away and comes to pass again.
May the elements bless these rings. Air for hopes and dreams; Fire for the spark of love; Water for harmony and healing; and Earth for strengh.
The circle is the symbol of the sun, the earth and the universe. It is a symbol of wholeness and peace. In the form of a ring, may it stand for you as a symbol of your love for each other, looking inwards and outwards, an embrace that binds without imprisoning, a support that reassures without restricting.
By the exchange of these tokens of your love for one another, so are your lives interlaced. What one experiences, so shall the other; as honesty and love build, so will your bond strenghen and grow.
The circle is a perfect figure, without beginning, without end, with no area of weakness. It is a symbol of the Circle of Life, of death and rebirth. This shall serve as a physical reminder of your vow, and that all things begin and end and begin again. These rings shall serve to remind you that life goes on, that these moments passs. When you are engulfed in anger or in sadness, look to your hand and remember that the wheel turns forever onward, and it is love that turns the wheel.
The symbolism of the circular rings was explained by the great native American leader, Black Elk, who said:
"Everything the power of the worlds does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are the stars. The wind in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nests in circles..............The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always coming back again to where they were. The life of a man or woman is a circle from childhood to adulthood, and so is everything where power moves."
To me, these words sum up our connection with Mother Earth. We are part of her, part of nature, part of the ever changing cycle of life.
WE MUST STOP DAMAGING HER, STOP PLUNDERING HER RESOURCES AND HURTING HER INHABITANTS. WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR WORLD, GIVE HER TIME TO HEAL AND THEN NURTURE HER SO SHE AND US CAN LIVE AND WORK IN HARMONY.
MOTHER EARTH IS OUR LIFE FORCE, WITHOUT HER AND ALL HER GIFTS TO US, WE WILL PERISH.
I AM ON A JOURNEY TO BECOME SELF RELIANT AND TO LEAD A SUSTAINABLE LIFE.
I HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO BUT THIS IS MY ASPIRATION AND THIS BLOG IS HERE TO RECORD THAT JOURNEY IN ALL IT'S FORMS.
KEEP READING, GO GARDEN, TAKE A RAMBLE, JUST TAKE INSPIRATION FROM WHAT YOU READ AND FEEL!