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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers


Jun 29, 2023 02:56PM ● By Sharon Bruckman

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair.” ~Susan Polis Schutz

Everyone loves summer, which is likely why you and I have chosen to live in Southwest Florida. Even during the hottest months, plenty of people visit our area because of its beautiful beaches and delightful amenities. Longer daylight hours means more time to greedily partake in pleasures under the sun. I love to linger along the coastline after sunset as the cooler evening air comes in. Summertime is a state of mind fixed in our collective consciousness from our carefree childhoods. It’s the season that invites us to be more fully awake, engaged and open to everything around us, succumbing to childhood curiosity once again. 

It’s also a time to do as little as possible and just be. The heat encourages our sluggish tendencies, allowing us to savor life’s gifts and waste time guilt-free. “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability,” the philosopher Sam Keen wrote. Even if our plans are no more ambitious than to take a nap, read a new book or float in a pool, this is the season for relaxation and “the pursuit of happiness”—a consequential phrase in the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

On Independence Day, we celebrate freedom from tyranny and the right to life and liberty, too. This year’s anniversary may be more important today than ever before, because our nation has become more divided than ever and American democracy seems to be hanging by a thread.

To celebrate the Fourth of July this year, here is my mantra: We honor dissent as part of our patriotic history and temper our anger against those with whom we disagree, understanding that the acceptance of different perspectives is the bedrock upon which our political system was built. We listen and empathize and work together to create solutions. We open our hearts to the perspectives of others, listen more and talk less, debate issues without hatred, vigorously question leaders and passionately stand up for human rights. We fight to eliminate laws and loopholes that diminish democracy.

No matter where you are on in the political spectrum or what your faith or beliefs, this country is worth fighting for and celebrating. Because it was built by people from different cultures and beliefs, we all have a place, and we all belong.

Enjoy your summer celebrations and quiet moments. Be kind and spread the love! We hope this month’s issue of Natural Awakenings helps keep you and our planet healthier and happier.

Happy Summering,