In April of 2021, increasingly disenchanted with the noise, complexity and materialism of the modern world, I moved from my home city of Lancaster in the North West of England to a small house in a tiny hamlet on the far western edge of the English Lake District. I was longing for a simpler life, closer to the Earth and her seasonal rhythms.
I’d been dreaming of this life for a long time and had fantasised about the perfect happiness I’d feel once there.
But in the months after arriving, I found myself far from happy. Many factors played into this, but the destruction of precious Mother Earth weighed particularly heavily on my mind and I often fell asleep in tears over the many global problems I didn’t know how to help solve.
When a leaflet arrived through my letterbox one morning with information about how the area in which I now lived was in discussions to house the UK’s first Geological Disposal Facility (a series of underground vaults to store higher activity radioactive waste), I felt lower than ever. How had we got to a point where we had to dig deep down into the beautiful Earth to dump highly toxic waste?
One question kept repeating itself to me: How can I be here? I needed to find a way of not just struggling through and surviving, but actually thriving and living life in a meaningful way.
One evening, an answer bubbled into my heart: Create beauty or die.
That one question and that one answer lit a new spark within me. The options felt clear. Fall deeper into despair or reassess and reshape my life.
It was a call to bring my life fully into alignment with my values. A call to break free from the apathy and despair I was feeling and to take a stand for the things I believed in and cared about. A call to fully commit myself to living the life that felt good and true in my heart.
I needed to pour love and beauty into myself, into my new home, into the Earth around me and into my work.
I long to live in a world where we know how to love ourselves, one another, and the Earth. A world where simplicity, slow living and silence are valued. A world where we can each offer our unique gifts and talents in service of the whole. A world where we are once again deeply connected to our true selves and our true place in the web of life.
As a writer, writing is how I offer myself to the world. At a time when so many of us are struggling and wondering ‘how can I be here?’, I hope with all my heart that my journey will serve to uplift, inspire, encourage and support you on your own.
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Love and courage, Leah.