On the day of the Global Earth Exchange (coming this year on June 25), people all over the world go to wounded places, share their stories, and find and make beauty there. Yet we don’t always have to seek out places and occasions for making gifts of consolation and gratitude for the wild beings of the Earth. Sometimes the opportunities come to us.
How often do we drive past a dead deer on the highway? Or spot, smeared in the snow, the blood and feathers of a bird snatched by a neighborhood cat? Our hearts regret. We decry the relentlessness of traffic or the natural hunting instincts of the cats.
It is possible to give expression to these feelings of sorrow by honoring the life that has been taken. If we see a dead animal when we’re on foot, we can pause, arrange flowers or leaves on this fallen body, and take a moment to consider the life that was lost. The final nesting place of the little bird in the photo above was made by Jess Kovach of Apopka, Florida. Even if we speed past an animal who has died on the highway, we can nod in its direction, bow our head momentarily, and thank the animal for being part of the rich and varied fauna of the Earth.
So often we feel helpless to make any positive contribution to the Earth, constantly bending under damage, destruction, and neglect. Radical Joy for Hard Times says: Taking a moment to acknowledge grief and making something beautiful connects us in a powerful way to all of life and reminds us that, no matter what is happening, we can always discover ways of finding and making beauty.