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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

September 2011 Publisher's Letter

I love watching my grandsons construct impromptu Star Wars creations on their Lego table. They become so absorbed imagining intergalactic heroes and villains, replete with swirling starships and sound effects, that nothing exists but that moment. I secretly ponder: Will this boy grow up to be an architect? Will that boy become a writer or movie director? This month’s Healthy Kids department titled “Artful Kids,” explains why it is vital to support the arts and nurture children’s creativity because it all gives our youth opportunities to discover who they are and of what they are capable.

Many adults, too, revel in developing the art of self-expression. I often recall how my Grandpa Andrews worked as an artist all through the Great Depression, funded in part by the Work Projects Administration program. Through sheer determination and a love of making art he managed to feed a hungry family during hard times.

Because of grandfather’s example, my mother has always understood that everyone has a right to create. Her unlimited energy produced a home decorated with her inspired works, from her paintings and sculptures to handmade wallpaper and sewing projects. At age 88, she is still finding ways to be remembered. Recently, she completed a jaw-dropping quilt that was 40 years in the making.

All of my siblings feel this need to create. My oldest sister’s latest projects include beautiful seashell creations. Inspired by sailors’ valentines of old, she combs beaches everywhere to expand her inventory. Because she lives in the Bahamas, her work is a natural expression of her world.

These days, my other sister is a prolific painter, although she didn’t become hooked on it until later in life, during an art class trip to Scotland. Her vivid and colorful paintings prove that we can always reinvent ourselves.

As for me, I have designed and built landscapes for the past 30 years. Working as a landscape architect perfectly melds my love of the outdoors with a need to work with my hands and suits me perfectly as a creative outlet.

Of course, today I am also constantly stretching myself in fresh directions in producing this monthly magazine. The steps may be different, but the process of responding to new ideas makes it a similarly exciting journey. If you are questioning the potential flexibility of adult thinking to learn something new, take heart—I have recently developed enough elasticity to bounce to the moon and back!

September is also National Yoga Month and we are celebrating many local teachers and studios that have inspired area residents to realize a calmer, more peaceful life. The possible variations on approach and poses for this ancient practice are astounding. Check them out in our Yoga Guide, and try something new until you find what best suits you. I can’t wait until yoga becomes an Olympic event, and predict it will happen in our lifetime.

Keep creating,


Don Moore, Publisher

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