It is always in the absence of a thing that we comprehend its true value. Not that I ever undervalued my life up on Mud Mountain. But some of the things I miss, or the extent to which not having them affects me, surprise me. Eight months have passed since I left. And I am slowly comprehending. How privileged I was to have a space of my own. An uncorrupted square of Gaia to play in, to be wholly and unabashedly myself.
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.
The Ten Things I Miss Most About Mud Mountain
MUD MOUNTAIN BLOG IS NOW AVAILABLE AS A BEAUTIFUL PAPERBACK!
I'm so happy! Mud Mountain has just been compiled into an illustrated paperback, so now you can enjoy the Mud Mountain articles at your leisure in an armchair, on the beach or in your own Garden of Eden. There are also a couple of extra articles I've never published online in there.
Paperback available from:
Amazon (currently only $11.99)
Completely Novel (£7.99 GBP + shipping)
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To look inside please use the Completely Novel book streamer for an accurate impression of the book.
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.
Atulya K Bingham
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