Radical Joy Revealed
July 8, 2015

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.

Weird blue orchids
Orchids dyed blue for the 4th of July, on sale in a Pennsylvania supermarket

A friend writes:


Now, this is just plain wrong! I thought and put my shopping bags down.


I was on my way out of the supermarket a couple of days before the Fourth of July when I passed a display of potted orchids in a glaring shade of royal blue. That they were intended to enhance upcoming holiday festivities was implied by the red, white, and blue ribbons tied around their white plastic pots.


The card attached to each pot informed me that artificial dye had been added to the flowers to create what the copywriter called "these gorgeous hues" and warned customers that, if new flowers were to bloom, they would likely be white.


I've participated in the Global Earth Exchange for years and I try to be mindful when I pass wounded places. Sometimes I stop and make a bird for the place. I had never thought of a potted plant as wounded, but now I couldn't help feeling that an injustice had been done to these orchids, which looked more like curiosities from a Pixar film than earthly blooms.


How do you make beauty for mistreated flowers? The only thing I could think of was to apologize to the orchids. I told them I hoped they would recover from the blues, survive their conscription into America's national holiday, and live on to bear many white and healthy blossoms. Then I bowed to them and left.



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