Radical Joy Revealed
April 6, 2016
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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. 

Children and RadJoy Bird
RadJoy Bird made by children at the 2011 Global Earth Exchange for the Chicago River, led by Sebastian and Amanda (center, in blue t-shirts). Photo by Andrea Friedmann
In Chicago, for several years in a row, our annual Global Earth Exchange has been led by two young people, Sebastian and Amanda. The following story, sent by their mother, Andrea Friedmann, is an account of their 2011 Global Earth Exchange for the Chicago River, when the children were ages nine and seven.
 
The kids had a long conversation, using Talking Stick, about the River, and how it's been manhandled and disrespected, and how we should be treating it like it was one of us. Then, those of us who wanted to sat with the River and listened. The River seemed to change from dullness to brilliance in that time!
 
When we came together again, other participants had begun to gather materials for our bird sculpture. There was much negotiating, since there were so many artists. It dawned on the adults in the group that this process of creating beauty together and making space for all our ideas, showing flexibility while remaining invested in the outcome, is exactly the process that our Earth needs to regain balance and well-being.
 
We poured water in a cup for each person to hold, and we charged it with love and healing. Then we went to the River's edge and poured it into the water, blessing it and intending it to spread the positive energy throughout the River.
 
Finally, Sebastian, my son, played his trumpet for the River.
 
We seemed to share an intimacy with the River because of the exchange.

This is a beautiful story about the wisdom of children, their instinctive understanding of how to treat rivers and other natural beings, and their ability to create collaboratively. Please join us on June 18 to bring your own wisdom and creativity to a place you care about that's been disrespected.   
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It's time once again for the Global Earth (Gift) Exchange, the day when people all over the world make simple gifts of beauty for the places they love that have fallen on hard times.

Saturday, June 18--worldwide!

Stay tuned for more details! 


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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