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Letter from Publisher

As I write this, I’m still reveling in the memories of this past weekend’s Baja Birthday Bash surf trip to Mexico with my gal pals. While it’s not quite yet my birthday, we all decided there’s no better time to celebrate our friendship than the present. This group of women and I have been through thick and thin together and I couldn’t imagine my life without them.  We all feel fortunate for the opportunity to help one another navigate the twists and turns that make up the stories of our lives.

         As we enter this season of gratitude and thanksgiving, my thoughts are also with two fellow publishers in the Natural Awakenings family. Their demonstration of gratitude as they recover from great loss inspired me to share their story with you, through our Gulf Coast publisher Meredith Montgomery. Her letter follows:

         As I worked on this month’s issue, I listened to an interview with Tom Petty where he recalled the time an arsonist set his home on fire while he was in it. The only material possessions remaining after the fire were the clothes on his back, yet the horrific experience had a positive influence on his life.

         “I’m sure it had a great effect on the music I did, because I came back with this very positive, happy kind of music, that I didn’t want to go into any dark corner or anything like that,” he said. “I was just so glad to be alive and to have escaped something like that.”

         I still had the late singer’s optimism on my mind when I was alerted a day later that the publisher of Natural Awakenings Long Island, Kelly Martinsen, woke up in the middle of the night to an electrical fire burning her house to the ground. She posted on Facebook, “We had a fire and I know that there is word out there that we ‘lost everything’. I want to assure everyone that this is not the case. While our house may be totaled, ‘everything’ I need was found the morning after the fire as I held my kids (all three!) and my husband in my driveway…for now we have no needs.”

         She then went on to thank Waleska Sallaberry who was staying with her and who woke Kelly in time to get everyone out of the house. Waleska publishes Natural Awakenings Puerto Rico and relocated to New York with her children after Hurricane Maria so she could enroll them in school. Her husband is still in Puerto Rico and together they are doing everything they can to help rebuild their beautiful surfing village.

         After having her life turned upside down and then witnessing fire demolish Kelly’s home, Waleska posted a picture of her new 2018 planner which reads “Best Year Ever” in beautiful script on the cover.

         As headlines are flooded with reports of hurricanes, fires, shootings and the untimely passing of familiar faces, these positive stories shine a bright light on the power of perspective. What if we all lived with such unattachment to material things, and maintained a peaceful sense of trust in what lies ahead?

         Thanksgiving arrives this month as a reminder to feel gratitude for all that we have—especially those things that can’t be bought or burned down. Whether it’s a beautiful sunset, a compliment from a stranger or the embrace of a loved one, those are the things that can make us feel the richest.

With gratitude,



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