Natural Awakenings Twin Cities April 2021
Read the full April 2021 Magazine
Featuring: Climate Change Health Impacts and Healthy Home
Letter from the Publisher
This month’s issue is dedicated to my mother, Sharon Broeffle, who we lost eight years ago due to complications of diabetes. April is the month of her birth, and for Natural Awakenings, our Sustainability Issue. Though I could honor her in our annual Diabetes Issue, I prefer to honor the woman who loved the Earth and is forever tied to its energies.
I grew up in the 80’s, a time of excess, rapidly advancing technologies and the “me” generation. However, my mother yearned for a more simple life and made a conscious decision to turn back time by removing all gas and oil appliances and replacing them with a wood heater and cookstove. Our clothing was cleaned in a wringer washer and hung on the line to dry. Thankfully, she kept the electricity, though we came to believe it was only so she could remind us to turn off the lights as we left the room.
She worried about the Earth and the effects humans’ excess would have on it. Plastic bags were not allowed in our home and weekends were often spent cleaning the roadsides long before there was an Adopt-a-Highway program. She yearned to own solar panels and a windmill, but unfortunately the budget did not allow for this.
My mother was deeply connected to nature, often telling us to take off our shoes or get our hands in the dirt so we could connect to the Earth. We would spend time in the woods, gathering fuel for the cookstove and showing gratitude to the trees who provided for us. She would spend hours with us laying in the fields watching the clouds pass by and trying to find the pictures hidden in their white fluffiness. She talked to the plants—in our home, gardens and forests—telling them how beautiful and strong they were and thanking them for their sustenance. She preferred the company of animals over that of humans, often saying they were more accepting, loyal and loving.
My mother had a particular fondness for birds, so much so that she convinced my father to put in a large picture window in the living room so they could watch the birds come to the birdfeeders perched just outside. We didn’t own a color TV until I was 16 years old, and only then because PBS was hosting a multi-week bird special and my mother wanted to see them in all their colorful glory.
This issue would make her particularly proud with our focus on creating bee-friendly lawns; the health concerns caused by climate change; creating healthy, non-toxic homes; the importance of getting children into nature; and of course, the benefits (never the cons) of keeping birds as pets. Did I mention she had several parrots, parakeets and cockatoos?
Mom, this one is for you!