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The Georgicks of Virgil, with an English Translation and Notes Virgil, John Martyn Ipsi in defossis specubus secura sub alta Otia agunt terra, congestaque robora, Pierius says it is confecto in the Roman manuscript. And Tacitus also says the Germans used to make caves to defend them from the severity of winter, .

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Through our funding we will also map the border areas of Florencecourt and Swanlinbar. This will provide a sustainable tool going forward to allow the trained volunteers to deliver orienteering events. Family fundays in each area will encourage outside participation and visitors to our areas. A varied programme of activities for older people are hosted in Trivia House, Swanlinbar to engage with those in the area.

Ongoing training to enhance our committee members skills in community work will also be delivered as important part of building a stronger community for sustainability. Singing, action songs, rhymes and dancing are guaranteed to make a summer Saturday a very special time at the Ardhowen. Tom is a regular favourite with families at the Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen.

Finding Our Way. We were on day three without food, and now six hours and eight miles from our last water source. Looking up at the night sky, I reflected back on why I was here, punishing my body in the mountains and canyons of the desert Southwest. It was because of Thomas Merton, the late, intrepid Trappist monk. We can no longer rely on being supported by structures that may be destroyed at any moment by a political power or a political force.

You cannot rely on structures.

Finding Our Way

The time for relying on structures has disappeared. They are good and they should help us, and we should do the best we can with them. But they may be taken away, and if everything is taken away, what do you do next? When I heard this word from Merton, I was intrigued and inspired. Merton was talking about the monastery and monastic orders, but by the same token, the global systems that underlie everyday life are similarly fragile.

The economic collapse of financial markets in revealed the fragility of the market economy; the devastating hurricane that hit Houston in exposed the weakness of urban life in the face of climate; the drought broadcast the brittleness of the food system I had experienced while farming in the Midwest. Furthermore, if I was to truly critique the system of domination that bell hooks calls white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy, I had better strive for independence from it.


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So here I was under the dark desert sky of the American Southwest, thirsty, exhausted, and lying on a pile of dried-out cow manure. I silently cursed at Merton while my groupmates around me rested, oblivious to my musings. Over the course of the next two weeks, I learned with a group of students how to navigate desert canyons and mountains, how to find water, the basics of trapping small game, and plant-based food sources available in the area.

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The calls of birds became familiar. Mosquitoes were just a mild nuisance. Further, I acquired skill in building simple shelters, and began to feel comfortable sleeping under the night sky without tent or sleeping bag. I welcomed the dark of night rather than dreading the oblique shadows and unknown noises. In short, what was once only wilderness to me became, for two weeks, home.

And this should have been no surprise.

‘Finding our way back’ theme for Anzac Day | Our Hamilton

These sandstone canyons and lush desert springs mark the contours of home for the Zuni, Hopi, and Dine. And their livelihood seems to have consisted mostly of the same pursuits as mine; the water sources I sought out were the same places where I saw evidence of these ancestral people because they needed water too.

Moreover, petroglyphs etched into the rock showed their appreciation for art, and pottery and flint in small caves made evident their need for food and shelter. What I learned in the desert is that there is no wilderness, there are only people without the knowledge and skills to live in certain places. After all, what was to me dry and desolate landscape was and is home to many indigenous people, and has been so for thousands of years. Indigenous people inhabit numerous places that civilisation calls wilderness, from the frozen northern tundra to the barren Sahara to the dense and crawling rainforests.

This, of course, was not true — indigenous civilisations have been inhabiting the Americas for millennia, moulding and shaping the land and its ecosystems. William Cronon argues that wilderness remained fixed in American mythology as settler ideology. American Indians had to be removed from their ancestral lands in order to maintain the lie of an uninhabited landscape that frontier people could tame. Likewise, national parks were created, bereft of their original inhabitants, in order to perpetuate the dogma of the unpeopled wilderness.

If we allow ourselves to believe that nature, to be true, must also be wild, then our very presence in nature represents its fall. The place where we are is the place where nature is not.


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  • This dichotomy between nature and civilisation is an old story. Ancient Near East scholar Marc Van De Mieroop describes a yearly Babylonian ritual in which Marduk, deity of the city, is led in procession outside the city gates to the uncultivated steppe, symbolising the power of civilisational order over untamed chaos.

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    Calendar GoogleCal. Mon-Thur Finding our Way community co-ordinator is Sharon Howe. Current Month. Swanlinbar Todders - Summer Event.

    Booking essential via Sharon on or community swanlinbar. Time Wednesday pm - pm. Location Ardhowen Theatre.