Australia’s Burnt Land Absorbs and Greens

Since massive wildfires began burning in eastern Australia in September, 24 people have been killed, thousands of homes have vanished in flames, and almost 25 million acres have burned.
It is estimated that a billion animals have lost their lives. This enormous loss is tragic not only because koalas, cockatoos, bees, wombats, butterflies, blue wrens, kangaroos, and tiny endangered mouselike dunnarts have died, but also because many of these species are found nowhere else in the world. Their death has made the threat of extinction even more immediate and alarming.
And yet, even as we try to hold this reality in our brains and this immense sadness in our hearts, we can also gasp in astonishment at how quickly the Earth rallies.
Glenn Albrecht, the renowned philosopher, activist, and author of Earth Emotions, who coined the term solastalgia, the pain one feels when the place where one lives and that one loves is under assault, lives in New South Wales, one of the states hardest hit by the fires. On January 17, he posted the photo above and message on Facebook:
I cannot declare our drought over yet as only 20mm has fallen and the ground is wet for only a centimetre or so. However, life returns very fast in some areas. The rock flows were barren only days ago, now moss and lichen create new mini-landscapes.
We are honored that Glenn has long been a friend of Radical Joy for Hard Times and has participated in the Global Earth Exchange every year. His message reminds us that, as we face the crisis of climate change and its repercussions, we must be opening to finding and making beauty wherever and whenever we can. Otherwise, how can we possibly stay sane?

Trebbe Johnson
Trebbe JohnsonFounder
Trebbe is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover and 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty. Her new book, Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty, will be published in Fall 2018 by North Atlantic Books. Her articles about people’s emotional and spiritual relationship with nature have appeared in Orion, Sierra, Ecopsychology, The Ecologist, The Nation, Harper’s and other magazines. She lives with her husband, Andrew Gardner, in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region currently under exploitation by natural gas companies.

Image Credit:

  • Albrecht Land: Glenn Albrecht: Antipodean Notes (Facebook)


  • CEDAR GROVE27 T1170

She addresses the cedar…

One simple and meaningful way to find and make beauty for a place—and actually to do both at the same time—is to praise it. Praising a clearcut forest, a littered beach, a raccoon killed by a [...]

  • Simeon 2019

Ceremony Replaces Shyness

It's not uncommon that people feel a little bit shy and awkward when they do their first—or even their second or third—Global Earth Exchange. There is little precedent, after all, for going out to a [...]

More Revealed



Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places.

This website uses cookies and third party services. See our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information. Settings Ok

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to track your path through our website. To assist in protecting your privacy, we anonymize the last 4 of the IP address.

Tracking Cookies

To monitor and help enhance your visit while on the website.

Host Accounts

We offer a individuals private member access as Hosts when they register. We offer Host newsletters and the ability to manage Earth Exchange Events & Stories that Hosts will author and help manage. We ask for basic information from Hosts to join. We additionally ask the Host to provide detailed information about their events and preparations. This includes images and narratives about their event and any Stories told about the Exchange Events hosted.