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Make a wish for a good dose of summer

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Dandelion Illustration by Brenda Jones

Dandelion Illustration by Brenda Jones

I’ve always loved dandelions. From the moment their happy little tufts of yellow poke their heads up through spring grass to their transformation to feathery puffballs that accept wishes, carrying them away with a single breath of air—they just make me happy.

It’s ironic that we all celebrate these first little endorsements that summer is on its way only to damn them, mow them, dig them out, and poison them as they become more plentiful. How quickly the conversation turns to their reappearance as a blight on the suburban front lawn. 

But as much as others regard them with disdain, I still give a lot of respect to these humble little flowers. I was delighted when my youngest daughter advocated this spring to observe No Mow May, giving the dandelions a chance to do what they were put on earth to do: provide a smorgasbord of sustenance for hungry pollinators waking from their winter sleep. We have become more aware of the importance of our pollinators, but maybe we need to give more consideration to the little things that can have a big impact on their sustainability. 

In the last few years, and especially during the pandemic, I have become more conscious of the significance of simple changes and how they affect my carbon footprint and the collective good of the planet. 

My children’s growing respect and awe of the earth has inspired many of the changes, like the hayfield growing around my house. Their lens is very different from what mine was at their age. And while there is still an inordinate number of packages being delivered to our back door, their consumption practices and behaviours are changing, governed by their experiences with the climate crisis that has been part of the dialogue for their whole lives. 

This new ethos is driving change in everything from how we source our food (see “Catch with a conscience” on page 30) to how we plan weddings (“Simple beginnings,” page 14), and even how we plan and design our homes (“Setting your sites on good design,” page 22). 

As Halifax architect Chris Crawford shares in the design feature that delves into the relationship of environment and building, there’s a movement to make our structures exist as part of the landscape, rather than dominating it. The response to this thinking is revealing some of the most innovative design in the country. East Coast Living will explore this more in future issues.

Sustainability factors into our lives in many ways, even our own health. Holistic nutritional consultant Karen Kerr shares her experiences becoming “sober curious” as well as a few summer cocktail recipes that are full of flavour and not alcohol (“Take the buzz out of summer,” page 40). 

We’ve all wondered how long the pandemic restrictions in our region would be sustainable. Those limits were tested again this spring and I say to everyone who has worked tirelessly, and for those of us who were just following the rules and rolling up our sleeves, thank you for getting us to a place where we can begin to return to the life we love on the East Coast. If I could grant us all a wish on the dandelions going to seed in my lawn, it would be for all of us to have the opportunity to relax and enjoy a good dose of summer. 

Crystal Murray,

East Coast Living