Radical Joy Revealed
May 4, 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. 

RadJoy Bird in a forest in decline
RadJoy Bird at the foot of a favorite tree in an overgrown woodland, Global Earth Exchange, New Tripoli, PA, 2012. Photo by Liz Brensinger
The fundamental point of the Global Earth Exchange is to come back into relationship with places we love that and feel we've lost after they become damaged or "wounded". In this moving story Liz Brensinger describes what happened during her solo Global Earth Exchange in the woods on her land.
 
As the Earth Exchange approached, I began to think about what we call our "forest"--a grove of evergreens growing way too close together--and in particular to one tree that's been my refuge. Largely because of my stubborn resistance to cutting down trees when I was younger, the forest has grown unhealthier over the 20 years we've been its steward. I "saw the light" some time ago, but it already seemed too late. Virtually all of the lower canopy is dead, with the only remaining green way up in the crowns of the trees.

Because of the condition of the forest and my own feelings of responsibility, I've seldom ventured in.
 
On the day of the Global Earth Exchange I took my drum and a bottle of water into the forest and to the tree that has meant so much to me. I apologized to the tree and the forest and the Earth for the impacts of my ignorance and gave Tree a gift of water. Resting my head against her trunk, I was absolutely taken with the peace that washed over me. In fact, I realized that the forest breathed peace--even amid the "decline."
 
As to my ignorance, it seemed a microcosm for the ignorance of humanity-the ignorance that is responsible for pollution, fracking, climate change. In talking with the tree, however, I realized I could not take responsibility for all of that, and, by extension, could not really apologize for all-only for the part that I, as one human, have played in the collective actions leading us to where we are today on our planet.
 
I thought that I'd like to find feathers for the bird that I would form at the foot of my tree, and in a few short steps, I did.
 
I am no longer afraid to go into the forest, and I am no longer sure it is too late.
 
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It's time for the
Global Earth 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!

For information  & to register 
click here.
To discover or join other events  forming around the world, see our Listings and Map

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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