Category Archives: Nature

What is ‘Home’ ?

I am a seeker with a gypsy soul; adventure is the sum of my parts. Yet, it is always a kind of amiable pastime to dwell on the possibility of finding a place to call home. As the years roll by and the past recedes into a collage of faded photographs and occasional flashes of memory, I wonder what home means to me. Is it a country, a house, a family or merely a thought construct to tame my wandering soul?

For many people home means a family unit living under one roof. We grow up in our parents’ house with siblings and call it ‘home’. When we move out and make a new family unit, we call that home. I know several adults who always refer to the place they grew up as their home. I stopped that when my mother passed away, seventeen years after my father. Home left me and memories faded, no longer compounded by family get-togethers which invariably led down rural byways to childhood, enhanced by the passage of time into faded sepia photographs. Sometimes I dream in colour and I see the vividness of summer days spent on the farm of my childhood, tossing the hay, picking fruit, playing hide-and-seek with my sisters in the hay barn. Ironically, when someone presents me with a colour photograph from my youth, I recall the memory in black-and-white, a kind of foggy moment captured on camera. But my best memories are moments that no lens could capture, my reaction to the microcosm of nature, of life; tiny shells glistening like treasures in the sand, a butterfly emerging from its pupa, a bumble bee intent on tickling the extended fronds of a flower, tadpoles wiggling in a pool of water, endless moments in close proximity to unfolding life. Life birthing every new moment from the one before, like a telescopic event where years, seasons, days and moments in time recreated a new one especially for me. To me, this was home.

Decades on from my first close encounter with a ladybird tickling its way across my chubby fingers, I have witnessed many habitats and ecosystems on my travels and crossed paths with more poisonous creatures than my three-year-old self would ever care to witness. However, it is only when I return to the land of my youth, when I register specific smells and delight in the microcosm of local habitats, that I realise that I too, am a specific flower of this ecosystem. And this is what home means to me.

Collette O’Mahony

19/06/2020

Our Existential Crisis

It is our existential right as humans to define what life means to us. As adult humans, we have freedom to choose how we want to live our lives, who we want to see, what we want to do, and where we want to go within the parameters of the law. That was up until five weeks ago.

Up until the global pandemic forced us indoors, people based their decisions on rational facts despite living in an irrational universe. Suddenly, rationality has become irrational. Calling round to our parents or friends house is off limits. Our Sunday stroll in the park or driving to the beach is taboo, and meeting up socially in bars and cafes is strictly off limits. Within a few short weeks we have to completely redefine the parameters of our existence and what life means to us.

In normal times, we perform a list of activities that form radials into the outer world. Now, these lines fanning out from our core are contracting and moving inward. This brings frustration, isolation and may trigger deeper traumas leading to abuse and addiction. Without our usual outlets we find ourselves truly alone with our thoughts. This brings us to the existential meaning of life. If I am not my job, my activities, my routine, who am I? Am I afraid of dying, or am I afraid of living?

As the radials that form the outer aspects of our life continue to contract, our life is no longer lived solely on the surface, but starts to sink deeper on the vertical, to the core of our being. This is a golden opportunity for us as individuals and as a collective species to question our existence; Why are we here? What purpose do we serve? Are we here just to satisfy our basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter? Surely we have surpassed our basic needs at this point in our evolution. We live is a society where the basic needs have been far exceeded. We have come a long way in terms of living conditions and technology from our Hunter Gatherer fore bearers. Our basic requirements to live a simple life have long surpassed rudimentary housing, organic food and hand-made clothes. That changed post-war during the mid-twentieth century. Our tastes as a society require home comforts, processed foods and high street fashion. Most of us don’t stop there, we change our décor every few years to keep up with the latest trends, our fridge-freezers are packed to capacity and we send our wardrobe cast-offs to the recycling centre and charity shops every season so we can buy more clothes. Our precious gift of freewill has been compromised by fear and desire. Fear of not having enough, and desire for more than what we could possibly need.

We are an evolving consciousness. We are a way for the universe to become aware of itself. With physical evolution, a natural change in environment prompts a species to evolve to adapt to the change in order to survive. As humans, we have brought about an ‘artificial’ change in our environment leading to climate change. The earth has responded by restricting human movement. To adapt and escape the confines of lockdown we need to change our thinking, how we relate to our environment. This is the evolution of consciousness required if we are to remain in harmony with the planet. It is up to every one of us to take responsibility for our thoughts, words and actions as they relate to others and our precious earth. As Gandhi said, we must be the change we want to see in the world.

Collette O’Mahony 24/04/2020

Poem ~ Amber Drops

lilyenn eternityAmber drops of autumn gold

Winter freeze turns bitter cold

Hope it springs with verdant grace

Inviting smiles from summer’s face

 

Seasons come and seasons go

Displaying all of nature’s show

Harvest brings its dividends

Nurtured by Life provident

 

Oceans swell and then abate

Trusting moon to seal its fate

Tidal signs left on the shore

Lifted up from deep sea floor

 

Stars stream light and pattern shape

To help night hunters navigate

Shifting round the central eye

Remaining focused in the sky

 

Earthly orbit round the sun

Reclaims its old, producing young

Misty rain and morning dew

Rising sun, each day anew

 

Tumbling clouds in azure blue

Frames broad spectrum in milieu

Refracting prism of sunlight

Forming shapes in colours bright

 

Beauty shines from all creation

Her displays are but reflection

Of Life’s breath in every being

Behold, full joy is in the seeing

 

Collette O’Mahony

From ‘Reflections of Love & Light’

 

Photo; Brooke Shaden