It Takes A Village: June Is Jumpin’

The Egret’s Senior Columnist Raquel V. Reyes explores a timely – or timeless – topic of interest to the greater Miami Shores community. Enjoy!

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R.V. Reyes head shotJune has a lot to celebrate. It is the favored month for weddings. The least popular month is January, if you were curious. I was a June bride, actually, and so was my mother. With so many houses of worship and event venues in the area, you might cross paths with wildly decorated get-away cars and flocks of people in fancy dress. Wish the honeymooners off with a toot of your car horn.

Nationally, both Caribbean American Heritage and LGBT Pride are commemorated. South Florida will have many events and festivals. Search for them. No matter if you don’t identify as either, it is nice to join with those that are proud of their communities. I love a good parade and street party. Don’t you?

The first week of June is graduation time for many of our communities’ kids and teens. Some are moving from the safety and warmth of elementary school into the wilds of middle school independence. Others are making the long awaited step from high school to college. Even if you do not have children, chances are you will be invited to celebrate somebody’s graduation this month. So, prepare yourself for the festivities. Here’s a tip— tweens and teens love presents of money or gift cards.

Using social media I asked our villages what they were looking forward to most. The resounding answer was ‘the end of school’. Daryl Gallo exclaimed happiness for “No more homework!” Veronica Accornero agreed and stated she was excited to have free weekends and evening bike rides. Summer officially begins on the solstice, June 20th. There will be more daylight to enjoy, an average of thirteen to be exact. So, there is plenty of time for outdoor activities like bicycling and swimming.

Ramadan, the month of fasting, prayer, and charity starts the evening of June 5th. I have learned so much about that holy practice from one of our resident Islamic families. It is a joyous celebration of family, sharing, and introspection unlike any other. The holiday’s main purpose is for the participant to gain empathy for those in need. There are so many people in need locally and around the world. I welcome more empathy and compassion.

An important historical and cultural holiday called Emancipation or Freedom Day is on June 19th. Better known as Juneteenth, it celebrates freedom from slavery in the American South. Another day of liberation honored this month is D-day, the day allied troops landed in Normandy marking the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. More patriotism can be had on Flag Day, June 14th. The day in 1777 we, as a nation, adopted The Stars and Stripes.

The golf and fishing holiday known as Father’s Day falls on June’s third Sunday. Laura Maria Rodriguez shared that she will be honoring, “my father who is an example of always putting others before yourself and being fiercely determined when faced with adversity.” How will you celebrate the fathers, grandfathers, and fatherly mentors in your life? Shipwreck Cove has free admission for resident dads that come for a splash with their kids. If your daddy-o is a cool cat, take Liliana Pico’s suggestion and take him to El Portal’s Jazz in the Grass concert on Saturday, June 18th. Make it an El Portal Father’s Day weekend by hitting their Family Food Truck Night on Friday.

Professional and personal milestones are important to acknowledge. Resident Anya McCoy will be toasting the 10th anniversary of the Natural Perfumers Guild, a worldwide consortium of professionals and nonprofessionals that she founded. Our villages are alive with vibrant and incredible citizens from diverse backgrounds. Get out there and celebrate what makes them and you special.

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Is there someone in your neighborhood that needs to be publicly recognized for their contribution to the community? Do you have an idea for this column? Please email your feedback to: rreyes@miamishores.com.

Raquel Reyes is a writer living in Miami Shores. Check out www.rvreyes.com for more information about her.

 

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