Manifesto for the Planet

On June 15, 2022, the magazine 4 saisons offered me the opportunity to participate in their Manifesto for the Planet. 

The objective was to give carte blanche to the authors and actors of Terre Vivante each month, so that they could write about what is important to them in the universe of Life. 

Like many other colleagues, I have therefore happily set to work. 

In order to share it with as many people as possible, I have made a translation in English here.

I let you discover it in the link below. 

After each contraction, an extension.

Committed to the planet, proposing solutions for the future … Between heartfelt and clawed, authors, actors and actresses of Terre vivante take the pen and deliver their vision on a theme that affects them particularly. Paule Lebay, author of Créer un jardin de soins, is particularly invested in the development of these gardens within health and care institutions. What if confinement, by limiting access to nature, allowed for a better understanding of the lives of people living in these institutions?

Drawing by Titwane pour 4 saisons
" I think that after having experienced strict confinement, without access to nature, being in isolation "H24", people will be more inclined to understand what a person in hospital or in a care facility may feel, more generally..
Paule Lebay
Author of "Créer un jardin de soins"

The global pandemic has been, to say the least, quite a contraction, and while it has brought with it much worry, grief and doubt, it has also led to several positive developments for humanity and the planet. The experience of confinement has made us aware of the beauty and regenerative power of nature and has opened our eyes to our irrepressible need to be in contact with it. What a joy to rediscover the calm, deprived of the incessant coming and going of vehicles of all kinds, planes and other noisy machines. To hear the sound of nature again. To be re-enchanted by the melodies of the many birds that usually sing in the city, struggling to communicate with each other, so noisy, invasive and totally disrespectful of the lives of other species.

Committed health professionnals

Through these past months, a spotlight has been put on the real commitment of the caregivers in their profession and the deplorable state in which they practice. The poor means, the administrative priorities that do not correspond to the real needs of the health professionals working in the field, have also been put forward again. Millions of us applauded them at 8 p.m. every night, in support and recognition of their daily efforts. Contraction, expansion. But what is left of that outpouring of solidarity? What is the current situation after this period of crisis? Has this crisis really led to an improvement in the working conditions of these professionals? Expansion, contraction.

How many speeches in favor of ecology have been made, in public or in the family unit, swearing to each other that we were not going to continue, in all coherence, at this crazy pace and in spite of everything? How many promises in favor of a more respectful life, of nature, of animals, of oneself, have been pronounced, always with the same and unstoppable awareness that things could not last any longer and that a return to our former life could not, in all logic, be envisaged any more? People have changed. The pandemic has changed them! Contraction, expansion.

When I look around me today, I tell myself that many of the problems have come back at full gallop and that the awareness will have been, for some, only short-lived. Expansion, contraction.

The pandemic experience, a revelation

However, I do not wish to be too Manichean and I am hopeful – ah, hope! – that, despite everything, this period of health crisis has not left in its wake only negativity or empty promises. In my area of expertise, care gardens, I see the pandemic experience as a tremendous help. I figure that after experiencing strict confinement, no access to nature, being in isolation « 24/7 », people will be more likely to understand what it might feel like to be in a hospital or care facility, more generally. I have known patients for whom the hospital had been the only and unique place of life and this, since their youngest age: the caregivers, the same ones to whom we always grant so few means, are their only reference points, their « family » and life in community remains their daily life. Not 15 days, not 4 weeks… but months, sometimes even years. Expansion, contraction.

Faced with this reality of what the living conditions of a frail person in a care facility can really be, by drawing the parallel with our so small, but already so striking pandemic experience, I have once again the hope that more managements, elected officials, families, local communities, associations, will finally see the importance and the positive impact that the creation of a care garden can have on the wellbeing and health of all, patients, caregivers, animals, planet. Contraction, expansion.

Article published on June 15, 2022 for the magazine 4 saisons, Terre Vivante

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