Radical Joy Revealed
July 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. 

Clear-cuts recent and current
In the foreground, part of the old-growth forest cut in 2013; on the hill in the background a more recent cut. Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park, Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Trebbe Johnson

Last week six people ferried across the Salish Sea that flows around the network of islands west of Washington and British Columbia, drove north from Victoria on paved roads, then west for three hours on logging roads. They stopped at an endangered forest on the western edge of Vancouver Island.
 
Their plan was to spend four days sitting alone in an old-growth clear-cut forest. They would willingly confront a place most people avoid. In the process they would note what they might be avoiding in their own psyches; explore how lands, though wounded, are nonetheless struggling, even thriving parts of the whole; and contemplate the demands of humans in nature's course.
 
All this they did. Yet, as always happens when you attend to the landscape around you and the landscape within, much more was revealed as well.
 
"I lay down in the logging road, as the activists did. I was three years too late, but I did what I would have done if I could."
 
"The slash piles reminded me of the piles of bodies at Dachau. Grandmother Cedar told me I need to be in touch with my ancestors."
 
"They are cutting the trees on the hillside. The sound of the saws sounds like an animal screaming in pain."
 
"I felt compassion for the loggers. What must it be to know you're destroying something that took 800 years to grow?"
 
At the end of their time in the forest, everyone was sad to leave. 
 
(RadJoy is grateful to Joan Varley and T.J. Watt of Ancient Forest Alliance for their help guiding us to this remote and special place.)

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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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