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Letter from Publisher

Peggy Malecki

This year’s spring season is more precious than ever. New tender green shoots, bright tulips, and spring ephemerals like trillium and bloodroot fill me with joy. Although I’m spending most of my time at the computer, watching the spring unfold helps to keep me grounded and maintain a sense of time.

These days bring immense challenges to us all, and is uplifting to hear people’s stories of how they are supporting each other throughout our diverse communities. While our circumstances are different, there are many ways we can all be present for each other, from virtual volunteering to the simple act of calling or texting a neighbor. On my block, we’ve started a text chain where we regularly check in, say good morning and see if anyone needs something.

To be able to support others, we need to support ourselves, first by finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase the health of our immune system. Perhaps the best things we can do right now are to stay rested and hydrated, eat well, exercise, keep our social connections virtually and find ways to stay grounded with what feeds our own soul, be it meditation, journaling, reading, learning a new skill or cranking up the music and dancing around the kitchen!

Another important way to support our immune system is to get (safely) outside into the yard for fresh air and sunshine/clouds/rain and reconnect with nature every day. One of my favorite topics is gardening and the importance of creating a haven and habitat, starting in our own backyard. Spring is here, and it’s time to get growing!

Online seed companies were inundated as people realized the importance of knowing where our food comes from and started taken personal action to grow some of it from home this year. The old WWI and WWII “Victory Garden” is trending again, and it has taken on fresh meaning for new generations. Unfortunately the trend has caused similar shortages of TP and yeast. Big online companies sold out supplies or are backlogged on orders (tomato seeds received in June should be carefully stored for next year in the Midwest).

However, effective May 1 here in Illinois, greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries are re-opening as essential businesses. While precautionary rules are in place to ensure safety, this helps us to access plants, seeds, soil and supplies to create our home garden via delivery, curbside pick-up and other COVID-19-era modifications. Spring is the season for plant sales, and nonprofits and other organizations rely on our annual purchase of natives and veggie seedlings for funding. This year it’s good to see how many have gotten creative in ways we can order online and pickup safely.

This month’s issue of Natural Awakenings Chicago is digital on our website due to stay-at-home conditions, and we’re adding fresh content every week, from new recipes and health-related articles to in-depth interviews with practitioners in our community. We’ve curated some of our favorites from past issues; look for them in the Trending Articles section. Please bookmark NAChicago.com and check regularly for new inspiration. I encourage you to sign up on the website for our e-newsletter, and follow and interact with us on social media. Most of all, please support our local advertisers, many of whom are offering virtual services, telemedicine and professional guidance, curbside pickup and other innovations to help us through these times.

Some days can be better than others, and we need to give ourselves permission to be okay in each moment with where we are; then take a deep breath and move on to the next moment. Be kind to yourself. Practice and re-practice gratitude and inner stillness. Try a new recipe. Plant a flower. Hug a tree. Put up a birdfeeder. Watch for migratory warblers in your yard. Sing a song that brings happiness to your spirit.

Stay safe, be well and try to find joyful moments each day in this fleeting spring season.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Peggy






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