Those who practice RadJoy know the power going to a hurt place they love and giving it some attention and beauty. But what would it be like to give a gift of beauty to a place that’s close to someone else’s heart — and 3,000 miles away?
Recently, Gina Galardi of Ashland, Oregon and Trebbe Johnson of Thompson, Pennsylvania did an experiment in shared giving, and both found it a very moving experience.
The two women met when Trebbe was in Ashland in October, giving a talk about her new book, Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty in Earth’s Broken Places, at the home of Anne Stine. During the question-and-answer period, Gina spoke of her hometown in Ashley, Pennsylvania. Gina was touched by the idea of giving gifts to hurt places and said she wished she could give something to the neighborhood where she had grown up that had gotten rundown over the years.
Gina’s hometown is about 60 miles from where Trebbe lives. Spontaneously Trebbe offered to bring a gift from Gina to her old home on Gina’s behalf.
Gina: I have vivid memories of fields filled with monarch butterflies, trails and paths where we always found salamanders under logs and brush. We would pick fruit from trees around the neighborhood when we got hungry. Those fields and trails are now developed with either housing or industrial parks. I looked forward to giving back to the land that gave me so much as a kid. (To read more, click here.)