Newsletter #25, January 2021
Uplook: The RadJoy Newsletter
RadJoy Members Make Beauty Round the World

Rumi wrote: “There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” And as members of our Radical Joy for Hard Times network continue to demonstrate, that wise counsel also applies to the ways in which we “kiss the ground” of wounded places by finding what’s beautiful about them and making them more beautiful still through our gifts. Here are a few examples from around the world of people who are practicing RadJoy:
Harriet Sams and her family had only been living in France for a few months when her little boy had to have surgery back in their native England. Before the operation, Harriet and three-year-old Calouen stayed with family members in a former UK coal mining area. The mines had shut down in the 1980s, but, wrote Harriet, the local community had been “impoverished and angry” ever since. The local river, the Gaunless, was polluted with sewage, and a flood two decades earlier had contaminated the homes of many people. Taking a walk with her son, Harriet was overjoyed to see rabbit runs tunneling through the fences, evidence that wildlife prevailed despite the ecological problems. She and Calouen made a RadJoy Bird, a gift for the land, out of sticks and stones. “Making the bird was so important to me,” she wrote, “as it helped me turn back around and walk home with him and not see just the mess and the rubbish and the broken windows and the dirty traffic. I felt a hope. I felt something had shifted that I need to hold onto.” After the operation and their return to France, the little boy wanted to make RadJoy Birds wherever they went. 
Andy Carnahan of New South Wales, contacted us last spring, because he was interested in participating in the Global Earth Exchange on behalf of Morton National Park, which had been badly burned during several weeks of rampant brushfires. Along with other volunteers from his community of Bundanoon, Andy brought aid to wildlife in the charred park by setting up water and feeding stations for kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and smaller arboreal animals. For their Global Earth Exchange, the volunteers shared a picnic in the park, just beginning to show the first signs of greening, and took walks on the land, bringing back small items to share with the group. In October, for the Bundanoon Lions Club’s annual scarecrow contest, Andy and his wife Lyndell created a Hope scarecrow in honor of Morton National Park, out of whose ashes Hope was indeed beginning to emerge. This exuberant Hope figure shared top prize with another scarecrow.
For Sasha Daucus of Doniphan, Missouri spreading the word about the RadJoy Practice means connecting with other members of our community wherever she goes. A regular convener of beauty-makers in her home area of Missouri and Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains, when Sasha travels frequently for her work, she checks in with our office for a list of names of RadJoy people in that vicinity. We query those people to find out if they’d like to get together, and introduce those who respond affirmatively. In this way, Sasha has met up with other RadJoy members in Florida, Colorado, Puget Sound, the California Bay Area, and the Mexico Gulf Coast, and together they have made beauty for the ocean, for the highly polluted former plutonium weapons plant at Rocky Flats in the foothills of the Rockies, invasive algae on the beaches, and other sites.
 
We’d love to know how you find and make beauty for wounded places and what this practice means to you. Send us your photos and stories!
 
Upcoming Events


January 18 and 25, February 1 and 8: 
Radical Joy for Hard Times Earth Ambassadors Harriet Sams and Sasha Daucus are leading a collaborative project with the innovative climate change group, Deep Adaptation, to explore ways of relating to wounded places and, in the process, deepen awareness of ourselves. The program is full, but if you’re interested, let us know, and the facilitators may offer another one.


Global Earth Exchange

June: Our 12th annual Global Earth Exchange will take place this year! We don’t yet know the exact date—it will either be the 19th or 26th—or what form it might take, but we will definitely be uniting around the world once again to honor wounded and endangered places and celebrate our love of them.
Visit our website!