Letter from The Publisher
Ahhhhhh. Spring has finally arrived in all of its glory, bringing a bounty of amazement to our senses once again. Every visit to my garden brings awe, as I track the emergence of this year’s perennials, anticipating their growth from new shoot to beautiful bloom and mature plant. Inside, the tomato and pepper seedlings are growing quickly, and I look forward to this summer’s harvest. Sun-ripened tomatoes and fresh basil, add a little sea salt, some flavorful olive oil … but that’s down the road, and May’s wonders are to be savored today.
Our May issue is devoted in part to women’s health, and this year, we’ve focused on finding ways to support our mental and emotional well-being. Our lead article, “Her Soul in Bloom: Self-Care for All Stages of Life,” is on the importance of self-care to our overall wellness. Taking a mindful daily moment to marvel at the fresh green of new leaves, observe migratory birds and even find new ways to prepare and nourish ourselves with seasonal produce all count as self-care and nurturing, and also teach us new things about our world and ourselves.
I’d like to point out Randy Kambic’s interview this month in our Wise Words department, “Peter Sagal on Running Toward Mindfulness.” The host of National Public Radio’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! program talks about healing his wounded psyche through unplugging and embracing the natural world, and why we don’t need to run a marathon to do this in our own lives.
“We evolved in very different circumstances than what we are living in now; to be attentive to the world, and not with a screen in front of us,” Sagal states. Yes! By necessity and by choice, most of us spend way too many hours plugged in and staring at some sort of device. When driving, walking, biking or working out, we often plug in our ears to artificial audio sources to enjoy, motivate and get us through a task. While this certainly has its place, I think it’s also a wise choice sometimes to consciously turn off the digital sound and just be in the world, rediscovering balance and strength in daily interactions with our neighbors, be they other people, animals, insects, plants or even the soil’s microbiology.
After the long winter, it’s now time to reconnect with ourselves and the world around us. For some, that’s means a run or long bike ride. For others, it’s dancing, kayaking, sailing, hiking, gardening, the arts or another pastime. But, as Sagal notes, it’s not so much the activity as the approach that leads us toward mindfulness and connection.
Whether we exert ourselves through rigorous exercise, paddle across a serene waterway or simply take a gentle walk through the neighborhood and purposefully chat with neighbors, the key to connection is paying attention to the details of what’s happening outside of our own personal world. Focus and observation calm our distracted minds, ease stress and can bring a welcome simplicity back to our otherwise hectic lives.
Let’s get outside and enjoy! And when you do decide to plug back in, please send us a note at Editor@NAChicago.com or connect via social media to let us know your favorite ways to reconnect and rebalance with the world around us.
Happy Mother’s Day!