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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

The Sweet Tapestry of Summer

Jun 30, 2023 06:30AM ● By Marlaina Donato
Sweet Tapestry of Summer

maria t hoffman/

July is a heady mix of peak temperatures, sustenance from the soil and inspired invitations to make lasting memories. For gardeners, it is a lilting time of fruition in between rounds of hard work when one’s efforts can be harvested, eaten and appreciated. Summer’s apex brings wildflower tapestries woven with cricket-song and evenings punctuated by rolling thunderstorms, but it also can be a time for us to take a deep dive into the miracle of interconnectedness.

Visiting the local farmers market is an opportunity to be mindful of all that goes into our shopping bags and bellies: rain, sunlight, nitrogen-rich snowmelt and the vital fertility of topsoil. We can see everyday people in a different light, especially Earth-conscious farmers who choose to be birthing partners of the land. 

Taking a walk outside can remind us that no life would be possible without the near-magical, unseen mycelium network beneath our footsteps. Summer’s delicate balance of elements ensures abundance, and we have a sacred opportunity to be part of that equilibrium. Each of us is a link in the chain of humans co-creating within the symbiosis of all other living things. Will we take away from this balance or add to it?

Adding to it does not require hours of time or money, but the motivation to make simple decisions for the greater good such as leaving part of the lawn to grow for the winged ones or choosing an eco-friendly refillable water bottle over single-use plastic. Showing a child how to keep a nature journal can foster lifelong connections with the Earth.

We do our part when we joyfully become part of the landscape—witnessing, observing and allowing nature to go about her business. Making time for languid appreciation contributes to self-nourishment, something that is also vital to the whole. How many avian voices can you hear at sunset? How many colors can you find in a changing mural of clouds? The season of plenty offers a harvest of beauty.

Marlaina Donato is an author, visionary painter and composer. Connect at

5 Top Tips to Finding Your Next Doctor

1 Keep an Open Mind! Healthcare has come a long way. Today, you have access to practitioners that branch outside of traditional medicine and aim to identify the root causes of conditions while using alternative treatments that may help you get the relief you need. Just because it’s not a pill, doesn’t make it pseudoscience.

2 Build Your Health Care Team. There is no one doctor that can be the be-all-end-all for your health needs. Be sure to have a team of practitioners with different “lenses” and areas of expertise who will treat the root cause and not just the symptom(s).

3   Environment Influences Healing. Health is multi-factorial. Your mental and emotional environment plays a pivotal role in your healing potential. Your doctors and their staff should create an office atmosphere filled with positivity so you can get the most out of your care.

4 Your Story Matters.  Before you begin any treatment, be sure to have a comprehensive consultation to discuss your health concerns. Find practitioners who welcome questions and will take the time to listen and treat you with respect.

5 Report of Findings. When it comes to our health, we often make decisions without understanding the risk versus benefits. Knowledge is an important part of the healing process and is essential to make conscious, informed health decisions. Find practitioners who take the time to explain their exam findings and the recommendations for treatment in ways that make sense to you.

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