Dear Reader,

Anyone who’s ever had the pleasure and privilege of living in the Valley knows just how remarkable it is.

There’s no other place where the sunset explodes across the sky the same way. There’s no other place that smells quite as unique when it rains. Certainly, there’s no other place where the people are as kind, courageous and welcoming as they are here.

In this year’s edition of Curio, we told their stories. Whether it’s a family-owned dairy farm overcoming their plights or a former foster child who decided to be the person she needed when she was younger as a now-foster mother, it goes without saying that every single person living here has a story of how they overcome their obstacles and made something remarkably beautiful of their adversity.

This semester, Regina Harlow, a woman from Dayton who began a foundation to help other parents through their bereavement following the loss of her firstborn daughter, let me into her heart to write her story. Regina is only one of many who’ve gone through her same experience, yet she’s the symbol of hope and guiding light that says “Yes, you will be okay and you can make it through.” This is exactly what embodies the Valley spirit.

Of course, while we’re here we’ll have some fun. We have stories on composting, living without electricity, ethical fashion, sweet Mexican traditions and Harrisonburg’s first Latino city councilman. There’s even some tequila involved — just check page 32.

This magazine wouldn’t have been possible without the staff. They’re absolutely incredible and worked so hard to make sure everything came together to make your reading experience enjoyable. My endless appreciation goes out to them, especially the editorial team.

Curio is a journey. We hope you enjoy you the ride.

Abby Church | Editor-in-chief