I return every year. If possible, more than once a year.
To be honest, I would live here if I could. Lets face it, I was born in Lisbon (Portugal’s capital), but it is the countryside that speaks to me. It is in the countryside by the forest that I feel free, that I feel best the connection with the Spirits of Nature, with the Spirits of the Land.
So, everytime I return here I feel like I have returned home, at last.
This time around, though, I feel sorrow and pain, and I feel like crying.
Everywhere you look, you see the aftermath of the man-made wildfires, some for profit and others because people are unable to foresee the consequences of their actions.
On the other hand, I found out that a wonderful, natural grove was destroyed to open a passage for hunters’ vehicles.
It hurts. I feel the Spirits of the Land are hurting and upset. And I cannot help but feel the same.
What is worse, I don’t know how I can help to improve the situation when, throughout Portugal, judges set recidivist arsonists free.
Or when the Government (like its predecessors) caves under the pressure of paper industry (such as Navigator) and, instead of promoting the reforestation with native trees such as oak, holm oak, cork oak, alder, chestnust and cherry trees, ash, laurel, olive, pine, and sycamore trees, they keep promoting the plantation of eucalyptus (already called “the green oil” by the paper industry tycoons).
And I feel powerless when Góis Municipality allows the destruction of green spaces to turn them into roads for hunting grounds.
I am sad. I am upset. I don’t know how to improve the wildlife conditions in my country.
I pray to Cernunnos for guidance, because I am certainly not wise enough to see the amount of destruction that has been caused to our forests and come up with an appropriate solution for the dire times we’ve been going through.
Photographs taken by this blog’s author/admin.