Radical Joy Revealed
March 1, 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. 

Hummingbird moth feeding on phlox. Photo by Henry T. McLin via Flickr
A friend writes: "I am preparing to miss the hummingbird moth once again. I don't miss it yet, for it wouldn't ordinarily arrive in my garden till mid-summer. For years I've loved watching these insects, with their long probosces, furry striped bodies, and transparent wings, who come to feed on the nectar of the phlox and beebalm. They are so unperturbed by human presence that, if I hold my open palm above one of them, I can feel the whir of its wings on my skin.
"Last year, the hummingbird moth did not come. Knowing how global warming and habitat destruction affect the lives of so many species, I had anticipated this loss for years. But now I wonder what to do."
When we attend to a place we love that has been damaged, such as a forest scorched by wildfire or a mountain stripped for mining, we can spend time in it, touch it, and make beauty for it. But how do we handle a complete disappearance?
The hummingbird moth remains part this woman's life, as does any tree, bat, or other creature whose loss we mourn. We may not bring be able to bring these beings back physically, but we can continue to honor them. Radical Joy for Hard Times suggested that our friend welcome the hummingbird moth this summer, whether it comes or not, by making an image of it. She can fashion it of sticks, stones, or flowers near plants the insects are attracted to. And then, as a daily practice, she can "feed" it the flowers it loves.
As long as a being remains in our hearts, there are ways to befriend it and make beauty for it.

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"Happiness is conditional. Joy is not." Join RadJoy founder Trebbe Johnson for
Radical Joy for Hard Times weekend workshop at Rowe Center in western Massachusetts April 14-16. Learn how radical joy begins with a willingness to face your suffering and open up to the moment in a refreshing space of honesty and receptivity. You'll become newly attentive to surprising outbursts of beauty and generosity--in nature, in your friends and family, and in the stories of others. You'll learn, too, that once you've received these gifts of beauty, you must extend yourself beyond your experience of suffering to give beauty outward--and in that giving is joy.
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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