I don’t tend towards exageration however I have to say that we are on the edge of environmental disaster here in the North West of Ireland. We are about to allow a few large shale gas mining corporations, using hydraulic fracturing drilling methods, to waltz in here and destroy our watertables, our aquifers – in fact we have given them licence to do just that, we have given them a licence to frack our local environment.
I know that we have been asleep, these licences were given some time ago and most of us never noticed. I know now that in many parts of the world ordinary people have had their lives disrupted, their farms destroyed, their livestock sickened and their own health damaged by shale gas extraction in their areas.
Rivers, streams, ponds and lakes have been damaged so that fish and other aquatic wildlife die. Watertables are damaged so that drinking water wells are now unusable, people are having to buy bottled water in order to cook, wash, water their vegetables, water their livestock etc. In some areas the tap water has become inflammeable – you can light it on fire!
The threat to our environment is overwhelming in scale and I am having great difficulty in coping with this new element in my life. In the past I was a very angry teenager and young woman, in my twenties and early thrities I was able channel that anger through involvement in certain environmental and community activism. To be an activist I found that the anger I felt was put to good use, it was useful to be angry, it gave me the energy to be commited in campaign work, it helped me to feel motivated and I was passionate about the issues in which I was involved.
Everything changed in my mid-thirties, my life was thrown upside down and I began to work on myself, I began to heal the anger. It was a long and hard journey at first and as anyone who has been on a recovery or healing path knows – nothing remains the same, the pain eased and the anger became explained, I could see why it was there and I could work on not needing or feeding it anymore. I am still on that path, I still work hard at being emtionally healthy, having healthy relationships with myself and others.
Now I have a life partner and we are making a home for ourselves in a beautiful unspoilt part of rural Ireland. We are building our home using our own hands and constantly learning new skills along the way, both life-skills and building skills. I am fortunate in having soul sisters (the word friends doesn’t quite cut it), with whom I have very good relationships and we support each other in very honest and gentle ways- that took hard work too. I have a life that I never dreamt possible, it’s a simple life, it’s not easy, we have very little money and face many challenges and I would not change it for all the money in the world.
It has changed now.
These changes are outside my control – as life is. I need to find a way to challenge what is happening to our environment without loosing myself. I don’t want to go back to living with anger in every cell in my body, I have to find a way to live with what is happening and how I feel about it without becoming lost in it.
I have a lot of work to do…