Radical Joy Revealed
March 26, 2014
Dear Friends of Radical Joy for Hard Times,

Welcome to Radical Joy Revealed, 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.

An Exchange in a Wounded Place

Irrigation "bubblers" at Owens Lake.

Meredith Little has lived for forty years in the Owens Valley of eastern California, a once fertile area that has been sucked dry for a hundred years by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), which diverts the water to the city of Los Angeles.

For her Global Earth Exchange in 2010, Meredith drove to Owens Lake. As she wandered in the alkali-encrusted sand, she was at first so intent on looking for something to appreciate that she realized she was trying to chasing away intense feelings of anger and sadness. Nauseous and exhausted, she sat down on a cement block and looked around. Seeing  DWP's attempts to ameliorate the damage with sprinklers and pipes, she felt even more despair.

Then she realized she had never really looked at the life in this place before. She wrote: "I walk to a puddle of water and put my hands in and see dark clay soil just under the surface. I see exoskeletons piled above the waterline. I see little miracles of beauty clinging to remnants of possibilities.

"Down the road a DWP truck is coming slowly, stopping to make adjustments at the water regulators. I feel my resistance to him as he drives closer. Is he the 'enemy'? I let in this feeling of 'us and them.' The truck comes closer and I wonder what I'll do. I suddenly break into a smile, and wave. His face transforms into a very big smile and a very big wave. We share this wound and this wounded area. I wonder why I have avoided walking here before."
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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in the Earth's wounded places. It's an inside look at what radical joy means and how it's made.

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Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss and despair, 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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