Monday, December 21, was the Winter Solstice.
Each day now the light will slowly begin to arrive earlier and linger longer.
And, oh, we are desperate for light now on this planet!
We struggle to survive a pandemic that is likely to get worse, even as new vaccines become available. Millions of people have lost their jobs. Women have had to give up careers they loved in order to take care of their children, who can’t go to school. Children are challenged to learn online. People are being evicted from their homes because they can’t pay the rent or mortgage. Many have lost loved ones and have to endure the long darkness of grief alone.
Bring light!
Every day, throughout the day, the world offers invitations to do something beautiful and generous. Help a stranger. Feed the birds. Call a friend and tell them how much they mean to you. Hang Christmas ornaments on a dead tree. Bake cookies for someone who’s having a hard time. Donate a little money to a friend who’s sick. Look for the bare and apparently lifeless trees and hang out with them, remembering that they are contain a surge of new, green life that will burgeon in spring.
We cannot bring back the dead, but we can bring back what is bleak and lifeless in ourselves, and our own light illuminates the lives of others.

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:


  • IMG 5758

How Is It Possible to Love a Hurt Place?

Shortly after meeting in Cazenovia, New York in 2009 to design our new organization, Radical Joy for Hard Times founding member Noah Crowe experimented with the practice we’d devised to find and make beauty in [...]

  • Mind The Heart Copy

How to Fill a Hole

What do you do with a big hole? Do you negotiate around it? Do you figure it’s beyond repair and try to ignore it? Or do you take the RadJoy approach and fill the hole [...]

  • Joanne At Shell

Reimagining the Unimaginable

Author and educator Joanna Macy has taught that there are three positive ways of dealing with a difficult situation: 1.     Fight to save what matters 2.     Work to create new, positive alternatives 3.     Change consciousness Sometimes, if we’re [...]

More Revealed



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