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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

The Ever-Changing Stream

Apr 04, 2022 06:18PM ● By Daralyn Chase

If you want to ruin your day, turn on the news, read the paper, or peruse any of the mainstream media about the current state of affairs in the world. It seems a biblical prophecy is playing out before our eyes. I don’t need to go into the particulars; you know what’s happening. It’s hard not to be consumed with all the misery and destruction. 


But to quote the noted philosopher Billy Joel, “We didn’t start the fire.” It’s been burning for as long as humans have existed. As bad as you might think things are now, they’ve been worse and gotten better. That’s no consolation prize—every day brings something different, good and bad—but as my college biology teacher liked to say, “You can’t put your foot into the same stream twice.” The world is in a constant state of flux, so take a long, deep breath and exhale. Things will change, and likely for the better. Realize there are many things out of your control. Just keep being the kind and gentle person you are.


Springtime itself is a cause for hope, proof that better times are always on the horizon. It’s when Earth shows us the kindest, gentlest version of herself, and when communities worldwide gather to celebrate her. Here in Northwest Florida, April’s warmer weather provides many opportunities to get outdoors and get together. Pensacola hosts VegFest on April 9 and then its own Earth Day festival on April 23. Meanwhile Fort Walton Beach will mark Earth Day with a land and water cleanup at Liza Jackson Park on April 23, and host the Musical Echoes Flute Festival, a family-friendly celebration of Native American culture, April 22 through 24 at Fort Walton Beach Landing. (You can find all the details on page 16 through 19.) After two tough pandemic years, we hope you’ll take advantage of these chances to reconnect with nature and each other. 


Side note: While we’re all eager to put the pandemic in the rearview mirror, some people are still struggling with lingering covid symptoms. We’re grateful to Bonnie McLean, an acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner at Empathic Practice, in Pensacola, for sharing what she’s learned about “long-haul” covid and natural solutions for addressing it. Read more on page 22.


The April issue of Natural Awakenings has a strong focus on nature as a powerful source of healing and restoration. For everyone who laments the loss of natural landscapes to development, we encourage you to read “Why We Need Wild Places,” our feature story on page 26. Writer Sheryl DeVore discusses the connection between our well-being and biodiverse environments, and how we can restore them in our neighborhoods and communities. If you enjoy exploring wild places, consider using your smartphone as a tool to learn more about the flora and fauna around you. Sheryl’s article “Technology Meets Nature,” page 30, reviews a few of the apps that can make a walk in the woods an educational experience.


That’s just a taste of what we bring you this month. Please read, enjoy and recycle—or, better yet, pass the magazine along. 


Enjoy this beautiful weather,

Scott & Daralyn
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