Remember those old car number plates that used to pledge our State allegiance?The Garden State, The Premier State, the State of Excitement (one best forgotten)?

After this month’s events I’d suggest one to unite us all would be Australia - Land of Extremes.

Wherever you’ve been the past month on holiday or at home it would have been hard to miss the extremity of weather conditions, straddling the continent east to west - one moment terrifying bushfires that brought tragedy to the South West and blanketing smoke over Tasmania’s western wilderness - and, of course, massive loss of property and precious wildlife and vegetation. The next, deluges and storms that turned this long dry summer on its head in a matter of hours. Can it only have been a week or so ago that we were hand watering wilting plants and looking to the heavens for a cloud or two? At least, most of the bushfires have been doused and that’s a great blessing.

In my garden, the birdlife is ecstatic - the local kookaburra clan have set up a noisy chorus and the blackbirds have added a few extra joyful phrases to their beautiful song. If we could only understand bird language the things we could learn!

I sincerely hope Nature has settled down once more in your part of the world too so that you can savour her beauty all over again.

The easiest way to breathe in that glorious fresh air is by walking and our health writers urge us to get off the couch and get moving and they’re backed up by some impressive research. Peter Dingle PhD says walking is the single most valuable thing we can do each day for our health with benefits that include warding off disease, controlling weight, easing stress and getting a good night’s sleep. He even suggests walking can outstrip all the potential for pharmaceutical drugs in the marketplace. The world would be transformed! Read his thoughts in “Walking- the Wonder Drug”.

Naturopath Lyn Craven sees walking as essential for women wanting to ease into life post menopause. It should be the most rewarding and, in many ways, empowering time of your life, but you need good health to enjoy it! Walk in the morning before breakfast to burn off fat (I’m a convert, still converting) or after dinner to help digestion and manage a restful sleep. Find out more in “Good Health After Menopause”.

Of course, we have lots more for you and you’ll be able to read it here in a totally new format this month on our new website

It’s something we’re very proud to be able to offer and we think it does justice to our huge archive of holistic health and lifestyle information. After 23 years it does start to mount up!

Whether you read on a desktop, mobile or tablet, you’ll be able to easily find your favourite writers and stories every month, as well as link to their earlier articles. There are reviews, recipes, the online magazine with links to advertiser websites, loads of links to external sources, a new section on the latest health news, a search function, space for your comments and responses. Too much to mention so please just take a look and pass on the word to your friends and colleagues.

Have an empowering month and make it a happy one too.

Margaret Evans

Margaret Evans has a background in teaching, journalism and publishing. She is the editor of NOVA Holistic Journal.