February 2012 Publisher Letter
“Let’s make a New Year’s resolution!” my 7-year-old son, Yonatan, announced one morning as our family sat eating breakfast. Not wishing to pop his bubble by gently noting that New Year’s Day was long past, I smiled and asked him to elaborate. “Our New Year’s resolution,” he continued, “should be to spend more time in nature this year.” We all agreed that this was a fantastic idea, and unlike other long-forgotten resolutions, one that we will enjoy keeping together.
Although we tend toward lazy days spent cozied up indoors in wintertime, given this year’s beautiful weather we decided to start right away. So we headed to the Wehr Nature Center, in Franklin, one of the many wondrous nature spots and parks we are blessed to have in this area.
We meandered for hours on the footpaths, enjoying the sunshine, unseasonably warm temperatures and the barren beauty of a landscape that is by now usually hidden under inches of snow.
We returned home ruddy cheeked, muddy, refreshed, and energized. Everyone agreed that it had been a superb day. The exercise and fresh air had improved our mood and cleared our minds. My ingenious son spent the rest of the day drawing intricate designs for a solar powered airplane that stores energy and can fly around the world without stopping.
This month’s issue of Natural Awakenings is filled with scientific support for practical ways to nurture young people’s brain development and sustain healthy mental capacities throughout our life. I was particularly fascinated by Jori Azinger’s article, “Dancing to Keep the Brain and Body Young”. Azinger, who owns The Dancepants Studio, in Thiensville, discusses the many benefits of dance, including research that shows how dancing can reduce the risk of dementia by as much as 76 percent, compared to other forms of exercise.
As I write this letter, the winter snows have begun and I feel a renewed appreciation for the bounties of the season. Our family aims to finally take up skiing and snow shoeing as part of our resolve to make the most of outdoor playtime. We also have a basement that is great for dancing!
To healthy minds, bodies and spirits!
Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher