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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


Thoughts On Love

Jan 31, 2024 06:34PM ● By Jerome Bilaos

With the month of February and Valentine’s Day approaching, it is natural to think of love.

These days we seem to love everybody. “I love you” is a signature sign off that has become a popular norm. I think it’s a positive thing to hear “I love you” so often, especially when you add meaningful hugs in addition to fist bumps and handshakes. Yes, it’s a nice change to see love being passed around out in the open. We seem to be owning and showing our feelings on a new level. We’re learning that sharing is caring, and intimacy and vulnerability are pathways to love.

Yet, what is love? How do people love when they were never shown love? What are the challenges of trust? Can you learn to love? When I ask myself these questions, I always think of my dad. How did my father, who never had loving parents around, make me know that I was loved? He could never say “I love you” or hug you. His dedication to protection and provision coupled with putting family first was all he could do. While there wasn’t a real atmosphere of love, there certainly was an energy of love. As a child, and even as a young man, it was hard to understand. And like so much that goes into love, it has taken time and patience and understanding, and yes, experience to appreciate the gift behind the curtain.

Love can be a gentle, soft place to land. It can also be so overwhelming as to defy expression. Love shifts, adjusts and transforms within each relationship. As we mix in backgrounds, nationalities, generational norms, our ability to open up, share and grow is challenged as new forms of loving emerge. And with each new expression, the world becomes a better, more interesting place.

The journey of love is different for each of us. I do believe that we all need to love and be loved. I know I did and do. So go forth and love some more.

Spread love around,

Joe & Asta Dunne, Publishers

Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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