For me, summertime always feels like a gift. I delight in bare shoulders and liberated toes, sunglasses and water ice. As June turns into July, I sense that “last day of school” feeling rising up inside and even running errands feels easier and more fun.
Much of what I love about summer is that it offers all of us the opportunity to shift into a lower gear. Kids without homework and afterschool activities and bosses on vacation make long weekends of R&R more doable. Hours upon hours of daylight stretch time in our favor.
Summer’s specialness in the Greater Delaware Valley comes in part from the bountiful harvest of local produce and the opportunity to explore surrounding farmlands. As a girl I remember celebrating when juicy nectarines and peaches reappeared in our family’s fruit bowl, and how quickly my brother and I could turn a bag of cherries into a pile of pits. We picked strawberries in Bucks County and came home from the shore with bags of prized Jersey tomatoes.
In Melinda Hemmelgarn’s July feature article, “Food Democracy,” we explore the importance of the everyday food choices we can make as individuals and communities and ways to support wellness and sustainability. During a time of year when we celebrate “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” it feels good to know that many Americans are waking up to the fact that knowing what is in what we eat and how it’s produced is essential to our well-being. Lisa White from the Doylestown Food Co-op addresses the role that co-ops, seed farms and community supported agriculture play in supporting our evolving consciousness.
Another aspect of the food justice movement involves ensuring that fresh, healthy foods make their way to everyone, irrespective of socioeconomic boundaries. Avery Mack’s article on “Food Gleaning” highlights the creative and efficient programs underway across the country to cut down on food waste and create a more egalitarian distribution of healthful nutrition to our citizens. We also learn about two local programs, Manna on Main Street and Bucks Knocks Out Hunger, that are doing this important work in our community.
In our Healing Ways department, writer Linda Sechrist sheds light on Lyme disease, one of the darker aspects of nature that’s exacerbated by ignorance of effective measures we can take. National and local experts offer resources for understanding, preventing and treating this challenging condition.
I wish you all long, lazy days and balmy nights, opportunities to turn away from glowing screens and to-do lists and toward sun, sand, earth and sky, and to the places and people that give you a sense of meaning, connection and liberation.
Yours in conscious community,