There is no place like Earth / Nulle part comme sur Terre

winter-wonderland-snow-forest-wicklow-ireland

It was a glorious winter day.

It was the second day of spring, a.k.a. Imbolc, in the Celtic calendar. But under a sunny blue sky, a sparkling blanket of snow had turned the Wicklow Mountains into a winter wonderland. 

Nature’s ideal playground.

Out came the sleighs and off we drove into the Wicklow Mountains to find some snow. The R759 road to the Sally Gap was passable up to a point, with a police car patrolling it to stop so-called “snow tourists” getting stuck past the point of no return. 

With the car safely parked on the roadside, we started walking through the woods. Jedi pointed out how the evergreen needles of the spruce trees were beautifully encased in a fragile casing of ice.


C’était une de ces splendides journées d’hiver.

C’était le deuxième jour du printemps, ou Imbolc, dans le calendrier celtique. Mais sous un ciel d’azur ensoleillé, une couverture de neige scintillante avait changé les monts de Wicklow en paradis blanc.

Un terrain de jeu pleine nature.

Les luges ressortirent de la remise et nous voilà partis dans les monts de Wicklow en quête de neige. La route R759 du Sally Gap était partiellement ouverte, et une voiture de police la patrouillait pour empêcher des “touristes” mal avisés d’aller se coincer au-delà du point de non-retour.

Une fois la voiture garée en bord de route, nous sommes partis à pied à travers bois. Jedi remarqua que les aiguilles des épicéas étaient délicatement enveloppées de glace fragile. 

snow-evergreen-trees-path-forest-wicklow-ireland spruce-evergreen-needles-snow-ice

We then reached a field. Beyond the wooden fence, the snow remained untouched. Intact but for two curved lines of fine hoofprints left by a deer.

“Can we follow them to try and find this deer?” Mermaid suggested.


Plus haut, nous avons atteint un champ. Par-delà la clôture de bois, la neige demeurait intacte. Immaculée à part les deux courbes d’empreintes fines laissées par un chevreuil.

“On peut suivre ces traces pour trouver le chevreuil ?” suggéra Sirène.

deer-prints-footprints-snow-tracking-wicklow-ireland

By then, Squirrel and Pebbles had got ready to slide down the field in their sleighs, while Jedi made a snow angel in the soft powdery blanket.

My four acorns, at home in nature. They have well and truly fallen in love with the Earth.


Ecureuil et Caillou étaient déjà prêts à dévaler le pré en luge. Quant à Jedi, il dessinait un ange dans la neige douce et poudreuse.

Mes quatre graines de chêne, à l’aise en pleine nature. Ils sont bel et bien tombés amoureux de la Terre.

sledding-children-snow-field-sleigh-wicklow-ireland sledding-father-daughter-sleigh-sunshine-winter-wicklow-ireland snow-field-fence-winter-wicklow-ireland

It was then that the thought struck me.

There is no place like Earth.

It was the soft winter sun shining through the snow-clad tree tops, drawing long blue shadows on the snow;
It was the droplets of melting snow twinkling briefly in the sunlight before falling down through the cold winter air;
It was the summits and hillsides of the Wicklow Mountains shimmering a dazzling white in the sunshine.

What have we done?!


C’est alors qu’une pensée me frappa, telle une évidence.

Il n’y a nulle part comme sur la Terre.

C’était le doux soleil d’hiver rayonnant à travers les arbres enneigés et dessinant de longues ombres bleutées sur la neige ;
C’étaient les gouttelettes de neige fondue étincelant brièvement dans la lumière dorée avant de virevolter jusqu’au sol dans l’air froid ;
C’étaient les versants et sommets des monts de Wicklow parés d’un blanc éblouissant sous le soleil.

Qu’avons-nous fait ?

As my blissfully unaware acorns played around me, an immense sadness washed over me.

Such beauty, and yet it may not last forever. I’m not talking about the snow melting fast. This seemingly immutable landscape is bound to change beyond recognition within the acorns’ lifetime, courtesy of climate change.

What have we done?!


Et là, pendant que mes graines de chêne jouaient autour de moi, une tristesse immense m’envahit.

Une telle beauté, et pourtant elle pourrait bien de pas durer toujours. Je ne parle de la neige qui fondait déjà. Ce paysage apparemment immuable subira sans doute des bouleversements redoutables du vivant des graines de chêne, à cause bien sûr du réchauffement climatique.

Qu’avons-nous fait ?

This despair, mixed with a deep sense of loss for all that they will never get to experience, keeps me awake at night. The acorns don’t know how uncertain a future they face, but I do. Yet I can’t bring myself to burst the bubble of their blissful innocence. Burdening them with this stark new climate reality seems so unfair. They are only children after all.

What have we done?!


Ce désespoir mêlé de chagrin pour tout ce qu’ils n’auront pas la chance de connaître m’empêche de dormir la nuit. Les graines de chêne ne savent rien de l’avenir précaire qui se profile. Je ne peux me résoudre à éclater la bulle de leur innocence bienheureuse. Leur faire porter le fardeau de la nouvelle réalité climatique paraît si injuste. Ils ne sont encore que des enfants.

Qu’avons-nous fait ?

They are the climate generation.

So I hug them a little closer and I kiss them a little longer. 

Let them fall in love with the Earth before asking them to save it.

In this age of climate breakdown, this holds true more than ever. 

If children don’t know, or care, about the living planet, how can they be expected to look after it and fight for it?

Thankfully the acorns don’t see themselves as separate from the natural world. They are at one with the mountains, with the rivers, with the forests, and with the sea. They belong.


Ils sont la génération climat.

Alors je les serre contre moi un peu plus fort et je les câline un peu plus longtemps.

Qu’ils tombent amoureux de la Terre avant qu’on leur demande de la sauver.

En cette période de crise écologique sans précédent, cette maxime sonne plus vrai que jamais.

Si les enfants ne connaissent rien de la nature qui les entoure, comment peut-on espérer qu’ils la préservent et la défendent ?

Heureusement, les graines de chêne ne se considèrent pas comme séparés du monde naturel. Ils ne font qu’un avec les montagnes, les rivières, la forêt et la mer. Ils font partie de la nature.

Frostbite! / Engelure !

Watching them tumble and roll about in the snow, throw snowballs at each other and laugh in sheer exhilaration at the fun of it all, I felt grateful. 

Grateful for this glorious day in the snow.
Grateful for this beautiful planet we call home.
Grateful for the sheer luck of being alive.

If truth be told, I never feel more alive than in nature.
All senses alert.
Body moving.
Mind at peace.

With a burst of laughter and their infectious cheerfulness, the acorns unknowingly reconnected me to what truly matters.


A les regarder se rouler dans la neige, lancer des boules de neige et éclater de rire, un rire de bonheur pur, je me suis soudain sentie reconnaissante.

Reconnaissante pour cette superbe journée dans la neige.
Reconnaissante pour cette planète magnifique, notre seule maison.
Reconnaissante pour la chance incroyable d’être vivante.

A dire vrai, je ne me sens jamais plus vivante qu’en pleine nature.
Tous les sens en éveil.
Le corps en mouvement.
L’esprit en paix. 

Par la magie d’un éclat de rire et leur joie communicative, les graines de chêne, sans même le savoir, m’ont ramenée à ce qui compte vraiment.

When news of the impending climate chaos become overwhelming, step outside. Go home to nature, just like a crying child looks for solace in their mother’s loving embrace. Mother Nature.

Nature is not a place to visit.
It is home.

Once restored my sense of connection to the living world, gratitude washed away the sadness. And I felt strong enough again to rise up and roar for Planet Earth.


Quand la perspective du chaos climatique à venir se fait trop accablante, va dehors. Retourne à la nature, comme un enfant qui pleure se fait consoler dans les bras aimants de sa mère. Mère Nature.

La nature ne se visite pas.
On ne visite pas sa maison.

Une fois rétabli mon sentiment d’appartenance au monde vivant, la gratitude a balayé la tristesse. Et je me sentis à nouveau capable de rugir pour la planète.

Further reading / A lire

 

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16 Responses to “There is no place like Earth / Nulle part comme sur Terre

  • A very sobering post between a lot of wonderful and pretty snow play. I share your concerns for our planet, but fear our human love of travel, the biggest issue on our carbon footprint, isn’t going to change fast. Let them indeed enjoy all that is wonderful about nature to fuel a desire to try and preserve it. #CountryKids

  • What a beautiful post and so true! We try and be at one with nature (even in the city). So glad you found the snow away from the ‘snow tourists’ #CountryKids

  • It looks like total winter wonderland, so much fun to be able to get the sledges out #Countrykids

  • Lovely photos of magical scenery. Hard to imagine that these sorts of scenarios may change in the future and sad that it’s going to take a lot of effort all over the world to make a difference for future generations. #countrykids

  • I love how at one with nature your family are and I’m sure you will all fight to save it #CountryKids

  • “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” Oh what a stark reminder that is of the reality that our children’s generation faces. I also worry about the battle that lies ahead to save our world from all the devastation that we have created. It’s true though that ensuring that our children spend time in Nature and truly fall in love with this beautiful planet will live on will help give them (and us) the strength and drive that we all need to do what it takes to try and save it. I hope that your little acorns will be able to hold on to their innocence for as long as possible. Thank you for sharing such a thought-provoking post with #CountryKids

  • This is a sad yet rebel-rousing post and your gorgeous photos perfectly sum up the beauty of our amazing planet. It’s hard to believe we are allowing such damage to our only home. Your activism will change the world, keep roaring, you’re a mighty oak! #CountryKids

  • Enjoying this the second time around from #adventurecalling!

  • It’s the very last #Blogcrush this week so I’ve just shared this post as my crush!! Happy weekend xx

  • Thank you so much, Lucy! Your words never fail to boost my motivation xx
    Have a great weekend too!

  • Beautiful post, both in words and pictures! I too feel so much better when out in nature, and most of the time I’m sure my son feels the same x
    #AdventureCalling

  • I couldn’t have put it better myself: there IS no place like earth. Beautiful photos and words as always. The kids look like they had an amazing time on that blanket of snow. Thanks for linking up to #adventurecalling. We’re back open in tomorrow for more new posts.

  • What a beautiful post. Your words are amazing and the photos even better! I’m sorry we didn’t get so much snow this year, we had a sprinkling and by the time Finn had pulled on his coat and wellies it had all but gone! Wicklow looks stunning with a covering of snow, truly awe inspiring mother nature! Thank you for linking up #AdventureCalling

  • Great post Annette, and what a topic to tackle via such a beautiful day out and its joyfulness. Great read 🙂 #adventurecalling

  • Its scary isn’t it? The thought of what our children might have to face in years to come. I have four children too, that are a similar age to your children. I think what you mentioned about being at one with nature is so important. I think everyone would feel differently & want to change their ways if their household waste wasn’t taken out of their sight every fortnight, or if they could see the effects of climate change daily. I am going to continue roaring and hoping for change too!

  • Beautiful post. I think you are right to protect your children from the worst of our fears and concentrate at this stage on instilling in them a deep love for nature and our planet. They will grow soon enough and be well positioned to take on the fight that previous generations have refused to tackle. #GoingGreen

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