Mother Nature is again giving us that familiar and beautiful cue that Earth is renewing herself with blossoms of new life in these foothills and mountains. After that unpredictable winter, the sunshine of spring is certainly a welcomed sight.

Our Hickory Nut Gorge communities and surrounding towns are ramping up for a new season of commerce, hospitality and activity. Students are already thinking of summer. Anticipation for outdoor adventure comes to mind. Rubbing those eyes or catching that sneeze is a small price to pay for the explosion of color and fragrance that spring brings.

There is something to be said for that saying, “A day in the mountains is worth a month in town.” If you can’t make it to that favorite place this week and get away from it all, page through this Breeze edition and find smart and new ideas for making your daily outlook a bit brighter. From a local church group providing needed health care in Haiti (see page 10) to a young photographer conquering her disability at Chimney Rock State Park (see page 21), the Gorge is a place where people care. From fishing (see page 33) to bird watching (see page 30) and gardening (see page 11), we enjoy the outdoors. From matters of physical health (see pages15 and 27) to mental health (see page 25), we demonstrate healthy concern. For being better informed and discovering ways to make life sweeter, don’t miss a page!

Stay well, enjoy the change of season. Summer is just around the corner! Are we there yet?