From the Editor: June 2024

Often, as we work on a particular issue of The Laurel, a certain word pops up again and again—in an enchanting sort of way. For this June issue, that word was “joy.” I found it in press releases, emails, conversations and quotes for stories. And, truly, this time of year approaches perfection, does it not? Warm sun, flamboyant flowers, garden plants taking off, lightning bugs emerging. It’s that same magic that makes us all remember our childhoods as one long summer.

Gina Malone, Editor

Several current exhibitions explore Nature, the most joyous and generous of muses. At American Folk Art & Framing, artists are Chasing Joy, and some of Mica’s artists seek out the parade of ebullient wildflowers for inspiration. Don’t miss the pairing of art and flowers at Black Mountain Center for the Arts. And what could be more joyful than a scavenger hunt for art?

In June, with celebrations of the fathers and father figures in our lives, I am reminded of my dad, who, on visits, sat whittling and watching the birds in our backyard, commenting on this one or that one, wood shavings piling up in his lap. Funny the small moments with our parents that become memories and inspirations. Read about Ashley Espey and how she traces working as an executive chef back through the years to moments watching her father create culinary excellence.

Our pollinators are certainly joyful and welcome sights in the garden. June is Pollination Celebration! month, so there are many events being planned throughout the WNC region.

On June 27, it’s Korean War Veterans Armistice Day and the Veterans Museum of the Carolinas, in Brevard, has a remembrance ceremony planned for June 25.

June, like all months, has many opportunities for celebration and remembrance. Whether you’re observing Juneteenth, celebrating Pride Month or marking the Summer Solstice, may you find joy where you can. How wise was Mary Oliver, who began her poem “Don’t Hesitate” with, “If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,/don’t hesitate. Give in to it….” and ended it with “Joy is not made to be a crumb.”

Welcome, Summer!

Gina Malone can be reached at

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