I’m Elaine McGoff, mum of two young girls, Naoise (7) and Zoë (4), and the Natural Environment Officer with An Taisce. In essence this video is about parenting with hope in a damaged world. 

I wrote Hope Floats after being inspired by the Brigid's day spotlight shining out across the Kildare darkness from the Hill of Allen, a symbol of hope for Imbolc. I started thinking about my girl’s future, what it would look like, and wondering how it is that I can do the job I do and still find hope. 

Being an environmental advocate isn’t always easy, you spend a good deal of time reading terrifying statistics about how urgently we need to act, sounding like a broken record trying to highlight that to decision makers, and then  facing systemic institutional inertia with very little action. It doesn’t help that our views are far from popular. To make matters worse I am acutely aware of what is riding on this, and the two little women I am lucky enough to share my life really bring that urgency to the fore.  They look to me to save the world- if only wishing made it true!

I hope this piece will resonate with parents like me, who are grappling with bringing up children in a very uncertain world. And for individuals and communities working in their own areas, I see you, and you inspire me. There is still hope, you just need to know where to look for it. 

The work of a number of people went into this, not least Katlyne Armstrong who animated and produced it. It’s been a real community effort, and it’s something which very much comes from the heart. I hope it makes at least some of you feel the hope. 

Elaine, her husband and their two young girls on a walk outside.