Now I am on the road you see, and I am on borrowed land. Every day and night. Other people’s spaces. Or no one’s. It’s very different.
How sensitive I have become to noise for one thing. And how wretchedly noisy the world seems to be! Cars, trucks, grass strimmers, washing machines, road works, cement mixers, televisions, slot machines. Wherever I go, I’m assailed by a never-ending chain of mechanical and electronic pollution that seems to bother no one but myself.
And then I stumble or rumble into a forest, or a field, or grove. Birds twitter, leaves whisper. The light drips from the grass like an alien emerald energy. And I remember what I left behind.
To co-create an Eden is probably the greatest blessing a human can have. To hold a space sacred, sense the power of the trees and the breath of the land, to forge relationships with the myriad of creatures that hop and crawl and amble over the skin of our planet, to hear the messages slipping out of the forest, to feel intrinsically a valuable part of something without compromising a speck of your truth, to have a space where you gain power when you feel disempowered, or nourishment when you feel hungry, or love when you feel bereft; these things are Earth’s gift to us.
It’s so obvious now, squashed as I am in the driver’s seat of my caravan, how lucky I have been. The last five years were the best of my life. Now, as I chug along my new road, I carry that gift inside me like a precious, rare egg.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want to be back on Mud Mountain. Half a year down the line, I am more certain than ever that my choice was bang on. In fact, I’m often to be found slumped on the sofa of my van, hand clapped to forehead in relief, marvelling at how I escaped.
I still wonder how my land knew what was coming, because I heard the dirt and the branches speaking many times in the year before, as if the intentions of the collective consciousness had seeped into the earth, to be sensed, and smelt and heard.
Trees communicate via subterranean fungal pathways. They warn each other of danger, share nutrients and who knows what else? For the forest, the survival of the whole is survival. Is this what I tapped into? Or the soul of the planet itself? I don’t know.
Now, as I motor back through the British Isles, I realise for the first time in a long while I am free. To speak. To write. To think. And to imagine a garden stuffed with magic. A garden where everything is valued equally, from the smallest ant to the tallest tree. A garden of possibility and choice. A garden created using an amalgam of my power and that of the planet. Because the one thing Mud Mountain taught me which has changed my world is that we are all gods and goddesses. We are powerful. We are amazing. And we could change the direction of this sorry world in years, if enough of us only realised it and acted on it.
So here they are: Ten things I miss most about that Other life. My life on a 2500 m2 hill, all alone and off-grid in a mud home. I miss so many more things than this of course, but to list them would take forever.
- A silent private space to reflect and create. The outside world is a vampire of distraction and disturbance, and it feeds on our creative drive.
- Grandmother Olive. This beautiful tree was balm in times of upset. How I long to swing under her boughs in my hammock and hear her speak.
- My own clean, fresh vegetables. I don’t know what we buy in supermarkets, but they are not vegetables. No love went into them, and none comes out.
- The creatures of Mud Mountain; the kitchen clean up ants, the rock wall agama, the butterflies, the praying mantis, the scorpions, the snakes, the squirrels, the owls, the buzzards, kestrels, bee-eaters, swallows, jackdaws, finches, sparrows, the robin in the toilet, the skinks and rock lizards. I thank them for teaching me that ecosystems are not actually systems, they are families.
- The healing herbs. I was hardly sick at all in the five years I spent on Mud Mountain, yet how ill I’ve been since I left! Strange illnesses linger for weeks on end. The modern world is an unhealthy place it seems.
- Building things with mud and rocks. I miss my playground.
- The view. Who wouldn’t miss it?
- The smell of mud and juniper. I don’t know which chemicals are used to make vans, but they certainly don’t smell good.
- The Mud mornings; the sunlight, the dew, the smell and the peace. Ah.
- My composting toilet. In fact, I missed it so much, I’ve just made a small one for my caravan. Chemical toilets are quite disgusting.
MUD MOUNTAIN BLOG IS NOW AVAILABLE AS A BEAUTIFUL PAPERBACK!
Paperback available from:
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Mud Mountain is also available in ebook format for just $0.99 until July 2017. Please note the ebook isn't illustrated, but there is a link to download the picture book inside.