Hawthorn Rising

The inner world of a person in transformation

Feeling lost


I’m feeling very ‘lost’ at the moment. It’s hard to be precise about the feeling, but those from the UK might have heard the word ‘discombobulated’ and I think that’s a good fit for me!

It doesn’t help that I’ve had a cold for 5 weeks (my first one in over 4 years) and whilst it’s on its way out, I still get bouts of coughing and headaches or earaches which pull me down.

But there is something deeper – a deeper pull for real and meaningful connection with the Earth, with the Source. I can’t get motivated by work, in fact, jobs that should be taking a few hours are taking days – suddenly work doesn’t seem important.

A number of the books I’ve read recently, or am reading right now have touched on this and made me realise that I am missing something.

Maybe this phase will pass.

Maybe this is a wakeup call.

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/oMpAz-DN-9I

How civilisation terrorises the Earth

Mark Boyle is a permaculturalist, an activist and a writer (amongst many other things). One of his most notable achievements was living for 3 years without money (ie he personally had no cash, savings or bank cards), the result of which was a book ‘The Moneyless Man’.


So what led Mark to do this radical act? After his business degree, he moved from Ireland to the UK and worked with an organic food company. During this time he came to realise that “money creates a kind of disconnection between us and our actions”, which in turn led him into his experiment in living without money.

Once the press got hold of his story, there were many who criticised him for the fact that although he personally had no money, people were giving him stuff that initially had to be bought and earned. Those people significantly miss the point about what Boyle was trying to achieve, which is less about not having money and more about understanding and being responsble for it’s connections.

Anyway, I digress slightly. I just wanted to give you a bit of background on him in case you didn’t know who he was…

Today, Mark posted the following on his Facebook page (he’s now returned to Ireland, and although not moneyless any more, he used royalties from book sales etc to set up a ‘freeconomy’ which includes a free pub!

Amidst our anger about the brutality and violence of ISIS, we seem to forget that to the millions of other species on Earth, Industrial Civilisation must feel like ISIS on steroids.

I don’t say this to be dramatic or controversial, or to in any way make light of the horrors inflicted by ISIS (and the US, UK, French governments etc.), but simply to help us retain some perspective about the way of life we seem so eager to want to protect.

Some animals we cage so tightly they can barely move — billions never breathe fresh air or see natural daylight before they’re slaughtered. Our precious way of life drives tens of thousands of wild, free creatures into extinction every year. Through our ecologically-idiotic agricultural practices we make deserts and monocultures out of once fertile soils and diverse landscapes, killing the uncountable life-forms that once lived within them. We’ve bottom-trawled the oceans to the point where marine populations are outright collapsing, and ecological systems with it. To forests and rainforests, we are butchers who know no limit to our violence. From the perspective of the rest of the community of Life, ISIS are pussycats in comparison.

Somehow we cannot seem to see this. We never see our own violence and brutality, only that of other people, and only when it is done to things that lie within our parameters for moral consideration. Because our civilised world is so manicured, hiding the systemic hyper-violence it depends on behind closed doors, we think we live peaceful, nonviolent lives. But we don’t. We need to start being honest about this.

And he’s right. ‘We’ can’t seem to see what we are doing to the Earth and all her inhabitants, whether they be animals, trees or simply the land itself. This is the land that provides us with everything we should need, but not everything we greed.

Every day, we bring ourselves closer and closer to that tipping point (some say we are already there) from which it becomes impossible to rescue the situation for humans. The Earth will survive beyond humanity, but along the way, we create so much suffering.

[Image credit: Wikipedia]

Mark’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mark.boyle3?fref=ts

The first frost

Winter is late this year.

We’ve been told that this year has been the warmest on record and certainly this autumn has been unseasonably mild. But since Friday, the temperatures here in the UK have dropped dramatically and this morning was the first ‘proper’ frost of the season.


I have childhood memories of going to see the local bonfire and firework display on November 5th, and remembering how cold it was, but Nov 5th this year was incredibly mild, if a little wet.

But now the winter is here and that’s good. It’s good to notice the changing of the seasons, to feel the wheel of the year turn as we fall a little faster towards the winter solstice.

And from the solstice, the shortest day, we start to see the days getting longer and growth will return, although it’ll be a few months before things warm up!

Walking in the woods and spoon carving

Today, we went for a walk in some local woods. It was intentional as part of my personal re-wilding to experience something more ‘natural’ and yet fairly close to home. We arrived later afternoon, which was perfect as there were only a few people around.

The woods are managed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, so perhaps it’s not really ‘wild’, but it’s the closest I can get within a few minutes of home.

On the woodland floor, I found a branch which I hope could be carved into a spoon. I brought it home and managed to split the branch along it’s length and after some examination, was able to work out the best way a spoon would fit.

I don’t know when I’ll get the time to finish it, but I’m eager to progress this as one of my ambitions is to carve a spoon from green wood…



Yesterday has happened. You can’t change what happened, or what you did yesterday.

Tomorrow hasn’t happened yet. Who knows what will happen before then or what might happen – you don’t know, so don’t fret.

Now, right now, is the only time that matters. Once the moment has gone, it’s gone. Do what matters to you, and do it now. Now is the only thing you have control over.

I’ve been attending ‘mindfulness’ classes for some time. At first, it all seemed like simplistic stuff, but one of the things with any learning is that old (bad) habits die hard. The secret to change is repetition and a good support group around you.

I’m not suggesting Mindfulness will solve all your problems because it won’t, but it will give you a better view on things and a better attitude to life. I know I have a long way to go, but I have started. Have you?

Live in the moment, but respect all life, respect mother Earth.

Want to be happy? Be grateful!

Now, I don’t claim to be a happy person. I can be very happy, but I also suffer from anxiety and depression, for which, I am studying and practising mindfulness. This TED talk caught my eye – the speaker, David Steindi-Rast claims that happy people are grateful people. Worth a few minutes of your time I think!

Sometimes a Wild God

For many years, I’ve been an admirer of the work of Rima Staines. Through that connection, I got to hear about Tom Hirons, who is Rima’s partner. Bits of his writing started cropping up here and there (in the Dark Mountain books for example) and I loved the depth and atmosphere he was able to create with words.

A few years ago, Tom wrote a poem called ‘Sometimes a Wild God‘ – it’s the sort of thing that ‘gets’ you: once heard never forgotten type of stuff! When you read it, or listen to it, and become immersed in it, you realise that part of it is a wake up call – a call from a deep and often neglected place within ourselves, from a past that many have forgotten, but also from a past that is deeply human.

How can you not be moved by the opening verses:

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine.

Anyway, Tom and Rima have recently launched Hedgespoken Press as part of their new travelling venture, Hedgespoken, and the first publication is ‘Sometimes a Wild God‘. As well as featuring the poem, all beautifully laid out and typeset, you’ll also find a few of Rima’s illustrations too.

hedgespoken press

It’s not a glossy, shiney booklet, but it has a quality to it that imbues depth and feeling like nothing else. I urge you to support Hedgespoken Press if you are able and have a chance to treasure a little work of art.

If you want to listen to the poem, here’s an excellent audio rendition for your pleasure, performed by an accomplished storyteller:

And of course, you can always visit’s Tom’s web page to read the full poem for yourself:




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 308 other followers