June 2014 Publisher Letter

Join me in a collective, “Ahhhhh.”

Step outside, smile up at the sky and maybe kick off your shoes. Finally, we are on the starting end of summer, the happy beginning of long days and open possibilities. Perhaps the temperatures are not exactly to our perfect definition of “summer in Chicago,” or the mix of sun and clouds could be better, but wow, it’s great to be here. 

Starting today, our goal is to savor and revel in the fleeting season of summer. Yes, we all must work and spend much of our days inside, but I’m here to inspire you to make the most of the time you do have to write new stories and make new memories of the summer of 2014.

Do you remember back in grade school when the end of May was finally here? If you were like me, you attended a school without air conditioning, and the teachers opened the double-hung windows to let in some fresh air. The sounds of birds and lawn mowers and people outside followed the breeze into your classroom. Gym classes went outside to run relays. The bike racks were full. Ten days, then six, then three and then—finally—school was out until Labor Day!! The summer loomed ahead of us, and the next school year was impossibly far away.

Of course, we didn’t all have the same childhood experiences, but we all enjoy some  special memory of a past season. Do you remember the feeling you had at the start of a grade school summer, and the realization that you had a long time of fun ahead of you? No more homework, studying or early morning sports practices. What thoughts come to mind as you recall looking forward to just hanging out, or how it felt to ride your bike or play until the street lights came on (and then call home for an extra half-hour of fun)? Are you smiling yet?

I still get that giddy feeling every year around Memorial Day. The whole summer is ahead of us. I am inspired to be outside at every possible opportunity, or at least open wide my office window to connect with the season.

This summer, we encourage you to create future happy memories. Try to recapture your childhood wonder and excitement. Find any reason to step away from your daily routine for a quick blast of summer. If you can, visit the lake, or picnic at a park or forest preserve. Dance in the warm rain. Sit on the steps in early June and whistle your reply to a robin’s evening song. Pick a dandelion, marvel at its complexity, and then close your eyes and blow the seeds to the breeze. Wiggle your toes in the grass. Run through a sprinkler. Stay out really late on the longest day of the year. Renew your spirit and refresh your soul.

We leave you with daydreams of the coming summer. Send us a note at Editor@NAChicagoNorth.com to tell us your stories and share some new memories.

Happy Father’s Day and Happy Summer Solstice!

Jim Irwin and Peggy Malecki Natural Awakenings Chicago Publishers

Jim Irwin and Peggy Malecki

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