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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Letter from Publisher: Bless Mama Earth

Our annual Earth Day edition is always one of my favorite issues to orchestrate—not just because our team had so much fun tapping our deep roots to Gaia, the mother of all life, but also because Southwest Florida Earthlings have created so many beautiful ways to gather in community this month to celebrate and strengthen our shared connection with our living, breathing host planet.

What we eat, how and with who contributes to the idea that we're all in this together. We're reminded in “Ocean Robbins on Personal and Planetary Health”, by writer April Thompson, that when we are making choices about our food, the ones that are best for us also happen to be the best for Mother Earth.

Thompson takes this a step further in another article that explores a growing trend across the nation and around the globe in “Potluck for the 21st Century: Breaking Bread, Building Community." In today’s busy world, where more people are eating alone than ever, I found it inspiring to learn about some of the creative ways people are seeking to share mealtime.

We’ve been hardwired to eat together in our family tribes since the beginning of time. Growing up in a household of 10 people, I rarely experienced eating alone; as chaotic as that sometimes was to be in the family “soup”, I felt safe and connected. Today, I look for ways to create or join others for meals and conversation.

I had the pleasure recently of participating in an authentic farm-to-table dining experience at Inyoni Organic Farm, in North Naples. Leaving the noise and traffic of the city behind, I arrived just in time for Nick and Natalie Batty's tour of their luscious farm, where Nick pointed out where our dinner ingredients were coming from.

At sunset, we all settled in at our beautiful table settings next to the fields that produced our food. By meal's end I felt thoroughly nourished on all levels from the fresh organic produce, heartfelt conversations with old and new friends and live music from Appalachian songstress Ash Devine, from Asheville, North Carolina—later topped off by a fireside group sing-a-long.

You’ll find plenty of enlightening and innovative ways to connect with people on the pages of Natural Awakenings this month. Special events not to be missed are the Health & Wellness Faire, the Spirit Festival, the SpelLIFE Women’s Wellness Summit and of course, all the Earth Day celebrations.

So hug a tree, dip your toes in the Gulf of Mexico and thank Mama Earth for all her blessings. Say, “Yes!” to all the things that truly support you and every living thing.

Spread the Sunshine,

Sharon's Signature

Sharon Bruckman