Children Make Mother Earth Feel Better


Children from Canberra Quaker Regional Meeting, Canberra, ACT, Australia, painting stones that they then gave as gifts to places they felt needed some love and beauty. Photo by Wilma Davidson.

Children are deeply connected to nature.  They know that many places on the Earth are hurting, and they are disturbed by that and want to do something to help. Over the years, many RadJoy parents and teachers have discovered that, instead of trying to protect children from the many problems plaguing the trees, mountains, rivers, and city neighborhoods they love, they can give them the opportunity to do something to “make Mother Earth feel better,” as one mother put it.
Recently Wilma Davidson, an active member and blogger for Canberra Quaker Regional Meeting in Australia introduced some of the practices in Trebbe Johnson’s new book, Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty in Earth’s Broken Places,  to the young members of the Children’s Programme she leads.
“This year our theme was the earth,” Wilma wrote. “It included a session in which children painted rocks and placed them in spots they felt needed love and care.” It was up to the children themselves to determine which places would receive their gifts.
When children can go to a hurt place and do something fun, adventurous, and creative there, they become more engaged in their world. And that means they’re on their way to becoming adults who will put a priority on protecting the places that are important to them.

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.


  • Friedmann Children 2 Copy

When Young People Mourn Lost Nature

Elizabeth's childhood home in New England was near a woodland. She loved spending time there. The woods were her playground, her refuge, her friend, her spiritual home. She knew those trees and stones, birds and [...]

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.