Retired, living in rural Ireland, the window is open and the sun is shining

Today was a day that was moving fast from the the word “Go”, out of bed this morning around 09.00h!

I mentioned a fortnight ago that I had signed up for an online training programme in “Evolutionary Activism” with the Pachamama Alliance. Well, we had our first Course Gathering last night, an online meeting of nearly 100 participants from around the globe, out of a total enrolment of around 300, with video and audio inputs. It was a really great and rewarding experience. I had already attended on online Small Group meeting on Monday evening when we had a good discussion about this week’s module, “The Power of Story”. In this module, we look at how being “game changers necessarily involves “changing the dream of the modern world. I shall tell you more about this in a coming blog. Last night the meeting started at 20.30h Pacific State Time, that is, 01.30h Irish time. I eventually got to bed about three hours later and thought I might sleep late this morning but no, something woke me. Today was a day that was moving fast from the the word “Go”, out of bed this morning around 09.00h! Before I had my breakfast, I was at the computer, revising my notes, sending messages to fellow participants from last Monday’s Small Group meeting, and checking my emails, monitoring incoming feeds.

© Noppasinw | - Suthat Temple - Bangkok - Thailand Photo
Suthat Temple – Bangkok – Thailand

Then, in quick succession three separate requests arrived from three different locations – China, India, and Dublin – each wanting documents translated into Irish. Great! Good start to the day. A buzz from the computer alerts me to a message from my compadre, Joe Lowry, who has been doing fantastic work, dashing around the globe with the energy of Superman but without the fancy costume, relocating displaced people from trouble spots, giving interviews to spread the news. This time he casually remarked that he had dinner last night with a colleague in Bangkok, who remarked to him about a comment I had added to one of his blogs several months ago ( check <>) in which I had described a rather sad meeting I had in Moldova back in the 1990s. When I checked his colleague’s FaceBook page out of interest, I discovered an item there about a school in New Zealand that had found a new way to contain bullying behaviour in schools. I thought this interesting so I put that up on my own FB page and asked had anyone in Ireland tried this approach to bullying. I felt that, in some mysterious way, things were connecting.

© Mpaskvan | - Florida Coastline Photo
Florida Coastline

I changed focus again when I received a reply from one of the participants I had contacted earlier. She lives in Tampa, Florida, and helps out at the critical care manatee rehabilitation hospital in the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo. (What about synchronicity? Joe Lowry, Lowry Park? Not related, though!). She tells me that a threesome of artists from Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, are currently on a painting trip in Ireland and today (11 June, 2015) they are painting at The Copper Coast and Dunmore East, Co Waterford! She tells me that I will fall in love with them and their work! Wow! The pace of my life is quickening. (Be still, my beating heart!) One of the artists, Helen Tilston, is Irish and regularly comes to Ireland to paint. This trio of paint-toting ladies paint landscape tryptichs ‘en plein air’, with each artist painting one of the three panels.

© Thediver123 | - West India Manatee Injured By A Boater Photo
A manatee injured by a careless boatman

Check them out at They are Helen Tilston, Mary Rose Holmes and Violetta Shtymeyzen-Chandler and they have been painting together for the past 16 years. All three represented the USA at the the invitational Florence Biennale in Firenze, Italy in 2007 – and have received a lifetime invitation to participate. The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation awarded the Artists in 2007 for their untiring efforts in preserving the history of Florida. So, if any of my readers are in Wexford, keep an eye open for these ladies.

It’s now coming up to 18.00h and I suddenly realise that I haven’t eaten yet today! I hadn’t noticed any feelings of hunger during the day so that was O.K. Now, however, I think it is time to shut up shop for the day and enjoy some of my own home cooking! Tomorrow I plan to spend out of doors, working in the garden and changing gear entirely. But for now, here I am, retired, living in a lovely rural setting in Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow, and when I raise my eyes, I look out through the leaded panes of an old cottage window, … and I see the world.

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