Blog Posts

Currents: September 2018


Currents is published monthly by Windhorse Integrative Mental Health of Northampton, 211 North St., Suite 1, Northampton, MA 01060. Executive Director is Victoria Yoshen. For questions, concerns and suggestions about Currents, contact us at

Upcoming Events

mark your calendarMark your calendars for upcoming community gatherings!

Community Events:
Pumpkin Carving – Please note the new date! 
Tuesday, October 25th, 3-5pm in the Windhorse office.
Join us for some Halloween fun! Pumpkins and carving tools provided, or feel free to bring your own. Email us at to RSVP or with any questions.

Events Committee:
Wednesday, October 3rd, 9:30-10am in the Windhorse community room.
The Events Committee plans Windhorse community events and groups. Clients, staff, and community members are welcome to attend and share their ideas. The committee meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 9:30 to 10am.

Community Lunch:
Tuesday, October 9th, 12:30-1:30pm at the Windhorse office.
This is an opportunity to enjoy a potluck lunch while meeting and socializing with others in the Windhorse community. All are welcome to come for the whole hour or just stop by for a visit. Please feel free to bring your own lunch or contribute something yummy for the group.

Community Education:
Wednesday, October 10th, 9-11am with an optional guided meditation 9-9:30am.
Join the Windhorse staff during their monthly discussions and trainings on topics relating to the work of Windhorse. Open to the entire Windhorse community. 2nd Wednesday of the month, 9:30-11am. You are also welcome to attend the 30-minute guided meditation from 9-9:30am.

For more information, contact us at

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Development Corner: Why Windhorse Matters

In this celebratory 25th anniversary year for our Windhorse Northampton Community, our highly relational and effective approach seems needed more than ever.  As Development Coordinator, I have the great privilege of offering meaningful thoughts from Windhorse community members, and using that to cultivate connections and support that help our community thrive. 

This month David Stark, our long-time Peer Counselor and recent recipient of a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, offers a deep and thoughtful perspective on the value of Windhorse in an increasingly technological world. 

David says:   “Perhaps Windhorse matters more in today’s society because the overwhelming presence of social media has pervaded our ordinary lives. Trying to develop relationships through technological means may undermine our natural evolutionary instincts and need for live human connection. We thrive in relationships that are sustained over time, skillfully supported and authentically motivated. Having a safe and familiar social setting that fosters the actual expression of sincere emotion, rather than conventional or superficial relatedness, can be a rare alternative to the virtual or digitized realm. Studies have been done that support this view.

     At Windhorse, we move gradually, getting to know people for who they really are, and taking the time to carefully consider what might actually be of lasting benefit to them, rather than attempting quick fixes. We believe that all of our community members are worthy of this intensive and self-defined approach. In a world that has become increasingly rapid, impersonal and complex, we want our community members to discover who they truly are and were meant to be, not just for their recoveries, but for their humanity. We can be an oasis, a place of refuge in a world that often fails to take the time and space to see people for who they genuinely are.”

David’s comments deeply resonate with me, as I’m sure they do with many of you.  I want to encourage you to similarly take a moment to share a memory of your Windhorse experience.  Please contact me with your comments (even just a sentence, if you like!).  If you want, I would be happy to get back to you for dialogue.  We are compiling reflections and experiences in order to create a collection of memories and thoughts marking our 25th year.  Of course these contributions will be held anonymous or confidential if you so choose.  Any comments are highly valuable to us, whether anonymous or identified.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your participation in the Windhorse community!

Eric Friedland-Kays
Senior Clinician and Coordinator of Development
413-586-0207 x106
Windhorse IMH
211 North Street, Suite 1
Northampton, MA 01060


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The Departure Film Showing

In November, the Western Mass RLC will be sponsoring two viewings and community discussions of the film The Departure. Here is a description of The Departure from the film’s website:

“Ittetsu Nemoto, a former punk-turned-Buddhist-priest in Japan, has made a career out of helping suicidal people find reasons to live. But this work has come increasingly at the cost of his own family and health, as he refuses to draw lines between his patients and himself. The Departure captures Nemoto at a crossroads, when his growing self-destructive tendencies lead him to confront the same question his patients ask him: what makes life worth living?”

The film viewings will be on Wednesday, November 7th in Turners Falls, and Thursday, November 8th in Westfield. For more specifics on the where and when, check out the Western Mass RLC’s flyer. Several people from Windhorse are interested in possibly attending a viewing and participating in the discussion that will follow. If you, too, are interested in going and might want to join us, please email us at


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‘Tis Time to Start Crafting!

Like many of you out there, we don’t love it when people mention the winter holidays before we’ve even reached Halloween. But if you’re thinking of making some of your holiday gifts, then now would be a good time to start. Time flies when there’s a deadline looming, after all. To get you started we thought we’d mention some places in the Valley where you might find ideas for handmade gifts, or even classes where they’ll teach you how to make them.

WEBS has a large variety of project kits for fiber enthusiasts, as well as over forty different classes being offered this season.

Snow Farm offers many classes and workshops every season.

Northampton Wools is offering a handful of classes this fall.

Northampton Area Stitch ‘n Bitch MeetUp group might be a good place to get some ideas and socialize with other knitters and crocheters.

Northampton Pottery, CyclePottery, and Celadon Studio all offer ceramics classes.

Beehive Sewing (based in Northampton) offers a number of sewing kits for purchase on Etsy.

Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics are both large chain stores located in Hadley, and both offer classes, often with seasonal themes.

Ravelry is a great resource for knitters and crocheters. It is an online forum with lots of members, as well as thousands and thousands of patterns, many of which are free. You have to sign up for an account in order to access Ravelry, but it’s completely free.

Craftsy is an excellent place to check out all sorts of ideas, from quilting and knitting to fine arts and baking, it’s got it all. They have ideas, kits, and classes available.

Martha Stewart, one of the most famous crafters of them all, has a website full of ideas. You can check it out here.

If you’re looking for inspiration, Etsy might be a good place to start. There you’ll find a marketplace with all sorts of handcrafts (as well as vintage items and other fun fares). Project kits and supplies are often for sale on Etsy too.

Let us know how it goes. Happy crafting!

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Things To Do: Mazes and Festivals Galore

Autumn can be a beautiful time in New England, with the crisp breezes and leaves of fiery colors, and it’s a time of year often celebrated with outdoor activities and an abundance of fall festivals. And so we’ve compiled a list of fall events and outdoor destinations that we thought you might like to know about. Each link will take you to a website with more information.

Upcoming fall and harvest festivals.

Valley Kids Festival and Craft Fair (Amherst) is on September 29th from 10am to 4pm, rain or shine. Admission is free.

Nuestras Raices, Inc. Harvest Festival (Holyoke) is on September 29th from 12pm to 4pm (rain date is Sept. 30th). Admission is free.

Ashfield Fall Festival (Ashfield) runs October 6th and 7th from 10am to 5pm, rain or shine. Admission is free.

Paradise City Arts Festival (Northampton) runs October 6th through the 8th, rain or shine. Admission is $14 for adults and $8 for students.

Easthampton Harvest Festival (Easthampton) is on October 13th from 12pm to 6pm. Admission is free.

And here are local mazes for those interested in enjoying the fall weather with a nice stroll.

Mike’s Maze (Sunderland) is open now through November 4th for weekends and limited Friday afternoons. This year’s maze is Blackbeard, the Pirate. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for students, and $11 for kids aged 5 and up (younger kids are free).

Red Fire Farm’s Popcorn Maze (Granby) is open daily through November 4th. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for seniors and kids aged 4 and up (younger kids are free).

We’ve also heard about a couple of local labyrinths to explore. While we haven’t been there ourselves, we’re curious about them and would love to know your impressions if you go.

inRESONANCE Labyrinth is open to the public, weather permitting. The Labyrinth is not wheel chair accessible, but the site is.  The 50 foot wide Labyrinth is made of brick, with grass paths. Address and contact information: 
32 Industrial Drive East, Northampton, MA
Contact person: Karen Lubin, 917-776-2208,

“Blue Guitar” is a public, outdoor labyrinth located at 186 Northampton Street, Easthampton, Massachusetts 01027, across from the post office. Enter the Blue Guitar parking lot, go straight back to the grassy area in rear. You will see a metal bridge that takes you to the Labyrinth.

If you’re looking for other places to roam outdoors, check out this post that describes some local hiking spots.

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Hot Spots for Warm Drinks

As autumn arrives and the temperatures start to fall (and the days become shorter), it’s easy to feel a bit run down, glum, or at risk for one of the colds that spread this time of year. One thing that might brighten your day is a homemade, warm beverage, and luckily there are many to be had around these parts. Chai, for instance, is a Pioneer Valley favorite, and many cafes brew their own, rather than relying on the cloyingly-sweet mix that so many coffee shops use. We highly recommend Esselon Cafe in Hadley for their Chai Masala, which can be made with your choice of milk, with or without sweetener, and is also available in a herbal version if you’d prefer not to have caffeine. Other cafes that offer home-brewed chai, are Dobra Tea in Northampton (they also offer flavored chai like pumpkin and holiday), The Roost in Northampton, Haymarket Cafe in Northampton (they’re chai has a bit of a stronger ginger flavor), Woodstar Cafe (they’re spicy, ginger, caffeine-free chai is homemade but they’re traditional chai is actually Oregon Chai). And for those of you less inclined to the flavors of chai, another pick-me-up drink worth trying is the Honey Lemon Ginger (or HLG, for those in the know). A lot of these cafes offer homemade HLGs as well. The combination of honey, lemon, and ginger supposedly has many health benefits, including being anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral, so it’s a particularly good choice if your immune system is in need of a boost.

The above list of cafes is by no means an exhaustive one. While they may not all offer homemade chai or HLG, other cafes in the area do offer plenty of things worth trying. Here are some additional cafes in Northampton, but there are certainly more where these came from (and this list doesn’t even include the cafes in Florence, Amherst, and other nearby towns!).

Nourish Wellness Cafe and Juice Bar

Northampton Coffee

Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters

Iconica Social Club

Mosaic Cafe

Share Coffee (inside Thorne’s Marketplace)

Do you have a favorite cafe, or a favorite drink in a nearby cafe? If so, please share it with us in the comments section.

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A Poem for the Season

After Apple-Picking
by Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache, 
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

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Recipes: Those Warm Drinks We Mentioned…

If you’re not up for going out to get one of those aforementioned beverages, why not try making it at home? The internet is replete with recipes for chai, but here is one from to start you off. And here’s another for Honey Lemon Ginger Tea from But let’s not stop there. Here are more recipes for beverages to warm you from the inside out.

Golden Latte from

Honeyed Hot Chocolate from

Butterbeer (think Harry Potter!) from

Chocolate Chai Tea from

One more item of note: If you’re looking for a beverage that’s closer to the flavor of coffee, might we suggest Dandy Blend? It’s a delicious instant tea made from various root extracts (including dandelion, hence the name), and it has a coffee-like richness to it. You can buy Dandy Blend at Cornucopia downtown, and it’s likely available at other local retailers as well as online. Here’s a Dandy Mocha Latte recipe to excite your taste buds.

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