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Winter 2022-23 Inspire(d) Editor’s Letter

By Aryn Henning Nichols | Winter 2022-23

Lagom. It’s a Swedish word meaning “just the right amount.” “Not too much, not too little.” “Just enough.” The Swedish proverb “Lagom är bäst” literally means “the right amount is best,” and is also translated as “enough is as good as a feast.” Enough is as good as a feast! Leave it to the Scandinavians to have just the right phrase to encompass my feelings for this winter.
In a time and world where the mantra is so often more, more, more, I encourage you, this season, to say, “Better, not more.” Make choices that count – shop local, show up for your community, be present with your loved ones. Define what’s enough for you.
A lot about defining enough is being creative with your resources.

Artist Diane Knight used a piece of wood from a friend’s scrap pile to create the art on this cover. Diane considers some of her greatest work to be bringing people together in her bank-turned-home in Whalan, Minnesota (pg 15).

Shaundel Spivey wanted to give more to his community so that they had enough. He co-founded BLACK – Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge – an organization that is fostering the next generation of community leaders and organizers (pg 20).

In Hillsboro, Wisconsin, Marnie Hofmeister-Pooley opened Let’s Shine Coffee in order to let the people of her town shine and gather, face-to-face, to build community.

This issue’s Sum of Your Business features one of my favorite people, Gabi Masek at Wildcrafted Acupuncture & Herbs. She is such an inspiring business owner. Plus, lucky us, she shares Five Chinese Medicine Tips for Winter Wellness (pg 31)!

We introduce the work of Defining Enough through my infographic on page 33, leading up to Olivia Lynn Schnur’s Mental Health piece. Olivia walks us through the process of Defining Enough following Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – first comes survival needs, and you move up from there.
Feel like you don’t have enough – yet – in a certain area in life? Let’s manifest that destiny! The first step is believing you can do it. The next step is…taking the next step. Check out our Paper Project Dream Board prompts (pg 40), and get dreaming!

For the Tlou family in the 1960s, the dream was a United States education at Luther College. They emigrated from Zimbabwe to Decorah, Iowa, where their kids – especially Hla and Joy – always felt at home. After Joy’s unexpected death in 2021, Hla and friends created a memorial scholarship and a rental house in Decorah that they hope will help future immigrant families like hers find the peace of home.

In early 2022, 15-year-old Seamus Schwaba wrote a musical that ended up blossoming into an entire community theatre organization in Winona, Minnesota. He shares his refreshingly optimistic outlook on life in a Q&A on page 56.

Finally, our favorite conservationist, Craig Thompson, gets us fascinated with the Great-horned Owl (one “tuft” bird!) this winter.

And gosh, one of these days we’ll have to do a tally of the number of Probit interviewees who, like Hazel Grotegut in this issue, answered “lefse” as the one thing they could eat every day. I mean, with butter and sugar, how could you go wrong?!

Happy Everything, friends! Here’s to 2023 being the best year yet. Thank you for your continued support – you inspire us!

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

In this issue, you’ll find: The Tlou House: Finding Joy in Decorah • Seamus Schwaba + Sugarloaf Theatre • Community Builders: Diane Knight – Shaundel Spivey – Marnie Hofmeister-Pooley • Mental Health: Defining Enough + Hierarchy of Needs • Great-horned Owl • Sum Biz: Gabi Masek + Wildcrafted Acupuncture & Herbs • Chinese Winter Wellness Tips • Dream Boards • Probit: Hazel Grotegut • and more! Read the whole thing online here!