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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Joyous Summertime Living

These days, I feel as if I’m reliving my youth, and I must say it’s a magical feeling! Reveling in summer reading and ice cream, along with fun and adventurous day trips, strikes me as simple, joyous living. This is the time of year when I’m also filled with extra childlike wonder. I find I’m akin to a sponge soaking up new experiences and knowledge everywhere I go. 

Did you know that throughout history, the sage flower has been known for its wisdom, health and longevity? I suppose this makes sense given the term “old sage”, referring to someone who has experienced a great deal and has learned from it. As I considered which cover image would best capture the vibrancy of the season and that of our August theme of lifelong learning, sage seemed to be a no-brainer. I hope you find it as beautiful and inspiring as I do.

While preparing this issue, I noticed on my calendar that July 16 was National Ice Cream Day, which was serendipitous, because leading up to that delicious Sunday, I had spent the week traveling throughout our region tasting homemade, locally sourced ice cream. On pages 26 and 27, we have a local piece featuring the four different locations I visited. I really had fun compiling my “publisher’s picks”. All of the places I visited offer sinfully delicious options, and one even has their own dairy farm! I encourage you to try them all, and do please let me know your favorite flavor. I still want to sample more amazing selections like Blackberry Matcha, Colombian Coffee, Blueberry Mojito Sorbet and Kiwi Strawberry Pineapple Mint. So yummy!

Sampling ice cream takes me back to a favorite memory—growing up spending summers at the Jersey Shore riding my bike to the library and into town for ice cream, usually with my older brother until I was old enough to venture alone. I was proudly armed with my own library card, which I think every child should have, and made weekly visits, lovingly choosing my own books and discovering new characters and places. I especially adored adventure series, which kept me coming back for more. To this day, I still love a good adventure or romance trilogy, as well as self-help books that offer a fresh perspective on communications, nutrition, spirituality, health and wellness, and business approaches. Biographies have always inspired me as well.

My love of reading, combined with my continued bond with local libraries and the wonderful programs they offer, prompted me to choose this month’s issue as a fitting time to remind our readers about the amazing resource we have in a thriving Hudson Valley network of libraries. Have you checked out what’s happening at your local branch lately? It’s amazing to see how they have become cultural community centers for all ages. Learn more on page 31. 

If you are feeling as full of summer imagination and wisdom-seeking as I am these days, this issue can act as a helpful guide leading you toward new skills, modalities, training opportunities, workshops and more. Starting on page 32, you will find an abundant assortment of events for you to enhance and hone your knowledge personally or professionally. A sampling of what’s on the horizon includes a course in homeopathic medicine for the layperson or health professional; yoga teacher training; reiki workshops and trainings; and sound healing workshops and retreats—not to mention options to experience yoga, creative expression, herbal medicine, esoteric healing and more!

I hope you will join me in my quest to learn something new every day and continue to grow and evolve on this beautiful journey of life. Today, and every day, offers us many sweet surprises.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Dana Boulanger, Publisher