Radical Joy Revealed
December 6, 2017

Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe. 

Rachel Kane, gardener and proprietor of a flower and herb nursery in East Hardwick, Vermont, had always loved her grandmother's flower garden. The colors, the fragrances, the way the garden changed from season to season--and the delight her grandmother took in caring for the plants--all had influenced her own passion for flowers.
After Rachel's grandparents died, a dentist bought the old house and plowed up the garden to put in a parking lot for his patients. When she heard what had happened to this beloved place, Rachel avoided it. The town was quite a distance from her own home and besides, she feared that seeing what had happened to the place would make her inexpressibly sad.
Finally she made up her mind to confront the present and honor the past. Armed only with a bag of rose petals, she arrived early on a Sunday morning, when the dentist's office was closed. Slowly she walked around the area that had been the garden, singing a song about the holiness of the land and scattering the petals in memory of what once had flourished there. As she walked, she found that memories of the garden arose vividly in her. It was as if the plants lingered still, the blossoms unfurling above the asphalt, the roots stretching below.
In the tiny strip of land between what had once been the garden and the church next door, a few bushes had been left to survive. And to Rachel's delight, the fragrance emanating from them smelled just like her grandmother's entire garden years ago. What remained, she said, was "like a fragrant little microcosm of what was so much larger, but it held an essence and yes, was still full of new life and old memories."
When we become willing to face and bring beauty to a wounded place, we often discover:
  1. That our own presence rekindles a new kind of life in the place.
  2. That the place, very often, has more surprises for us than we ever could have predicted.

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This is a correction we are very happy to make. Several people, including a wildlife biologist, informed us that the animals we named as extinct in last week's  Radical Joy Revealed are, in fact, still living. They are all endangered, some critically. However, thanks to the tireless efforts of many scientists, conservationists, and volunteers, they grace the Earth. In fact, the Hawaiian crow, extinct in the wild for 15 years, is about to re-enter its native habitat after several years of breeding in captivity. And since 2016, numbers of the pudgy, flightless kakapo parrot of New Zealand (pictured here) have actually increased.

It's easy to make beauty anywhere! Here's how!

New from Radical Joy for Hard Times founder
Trebbe Johnson: a book filled with ideas for creating simple, imaginative, collaborative gifts of beauty for hurt places in nature and in your community!
To order click here.
Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community of people dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth. 
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Each week Radical Joy Revealed comes to you free of charge with inspiring stories and suggestions for living with endangered places in creative, life-affirming ways. It takes thought, imagination, and a sense of timing to uncover and write the stories, choose just the right images to accompany them, and prepare them for distribution, and we could use your financial help. Please show your support of Radical Joy Revealed by making a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization.

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