From the Editor

Without all the celebrations and happenings, February would simply be a month of cold weather and long, dark nights. Or as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow bemoaned of a February afternoon: The day is ending, the night is descending, the marsh is frozen, the river dead. Wow, that guy should have lived here. He’d most certainly have had a brighter outlook!

Everything starts off with our cover painting, titled “The Kiss,” by artist Cheri Brackett. It does a wonderful job of setting the tone for the rest of issue. In addition to the articles about the great things taking place throughout the region this month, we also have two special sections.

“Love Local” contains a story about chocolate, intriguing ideas for things to do on a date, tips on trying your hand at sexy storytelling, and the benefits of keeping the love local by supporting area businesses. And check out Gary Glancy’s column on pairing beer with chocolate.

“Health & Wellness” is a collection of articles designed to help enhance your physical and emotional well-being. Intrepid Community Editor Leah Shapiro sacrificed for her art by getting an Esalen Massage so that she could share her experience with you. Jackie Dobrinska writes about the importance of a healthy heart and also about the true art of communications in relationships. There’s also information about the Asheville Wellness Tour and a special article about self-care with guidance from Kwan Yin Clinic and the Prama Institute & Wellness Center.

An inestimable number of words have been written about love over the ages. It is an elusive subject, to be sure. One of my favorite descriptions is by the 13th century Sufi mystic, Jalal al-Din Rumi: Although I may try to describe love, when I experience it I am speechless. 

May you each experience love—love of self, love of others, love for others.

Paul M. Howey


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