November is the last month of autumn. Further north, the leaves are completing their dance of color as they fall to the ground then spend the next few winter months blanketing and protecting the space around the trees. Interestingly, the leaves of the mighty oak tree turn brown but tend to hang on to the branches throughout much of the winter.

Here in Florida, the seasonal shifts are much more subtle. Slightly cooler weather presents itself. The rain creates its own musical symphony with movements through the air as if in celebration before it makes landfall.

Sometimes, the water from above meets the water that seems to float up from below, in what we call King Tides. We see low-lying street areas flooding more and more often, as if Mother Nature is saying how ever-present she is in her reach into our human-made world of streets and neighborhoods of concrete and glass.

Whether it’s the leaves or water falling, it seems to reflect an unending abundance as we watch the air fill with one or both of these materials. It’s an easy reminder to be grateful for Nature’s way of natural replenishment. What better month to focus on gratitude than November, in tandem with our celebration of Thanksgiving.

Over the years, the Thanksgiving meal has changed as families have adopted newer, more sustainable choices for holiday as well as daily meals. This brings us to our special focus in this issue, the Conscious Eating article, “Zenful Eating” (page 36), which I trust you will enjoy along with the Hearty Moroccan Soup recipe provided.

The article on “Healthy Thyroid” (page 22) is a great introduction to this small, butterfly-shaped gland and offers tips on keeping it in balance through the minerals and foods we eat. As the thyroid is located in the throat area, what we say—how we express ourselves—is also important to our health and its wellness. Lastly, read about specific yoga positions that support this important regulatory gland.

Our feature story this month, “Chasing ZZZZZs”, is on sleep. Could it be that taking time to rest during the day is the key to sleeping at night? Read our helpful article on page 24 and see which habits you may want to rethink or integrate into your daily routine to allow for the most restful, complete sleep possible.

With all these articles, and much more this month, we take the holistic approach. As we explore our world more, we can start to see a broader view of information, and with that, new things to try and experiment with for ourselves.

It has been said that sometimes, when it seems all is working smoothly, that’s when things can change, so it becomes even more evident the importance of being flexible and open to modifying our journey through our lives.

It certainly can be fun to share with others what we’re grateful for, how we may feel blessed, and the giving of thanks for the health we have.

May you all enjoy this issue of Natural Awakenings.

“I saw the lovely arch
Of rainbow span the sky,
The gold sun burning
As the rain swept by.”
  Elizabeth Coatsworth, “November”