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Sonnewald—Lessons in Self-Care and Mindfulness

Oct 04, 2020 04:22PM ● By Gisele M. Siebold
Grace Trimmer Lefever, founder of Sonnewald Natural Foods, taught others how to look for and find nature’s gifts. She lived a peaceful, natural and ecologically-sustainable life. She was an inspiration to many and her life continues to inspire others to live with intention. 

Her many interests included artistic expression, painting, singing, poetry writing, supporting local artists, traveling and performances. She was active in her church and remained steadfast in her belief that all of nature and each person is part of God’s creation.

Lefever’s mantra was “Green is the color of life.” Her signature Weed Walks explained the use of wild, edible plants for nutrition and medicinal healing. She found solace in nature and shared her gratitude for all living things. She found beauty by looking into the eyes of her loved ones, and she found peace by bringing peace to others.

A peace activist who believed in social justice, Lefever believed that listening with the heart encouraged a human connectedness that led to hearing both sides of the story. She also embraced the belief that empathy comes from deep compassion and love, and to take a journey of peace, we must truly listen with our hearts.

Truly listening with the heart brings forth a lesson of self-care, a mindful gift. Taking time in nature, sitting in calm and stillness, reading a good book or engaging in artistic expression rejuvenates and inspires. According to Lefever’s beliefs, the rejuvenating inspiration that comes from taking care of ourselves fortifies our inner strength to hold others in our hearts and serve them.

Her art and poetry were deeply influenced by the beauty of nature. Lessons of mindfulness are enveloped within her poetry, such as one from “Green Cathedral,” that suggests peace can be received and mindfully taken into life’s daily routine. “Water rippling in the stillness, of the quiet, green-robed glen, filled my soul with a deep longing for this peace to take back home,” wrote Lefever.

Her knowledge and kindness made an impact upon the people that she met and served. The Mid-Atlantic region and beyond was influenced by the work that Grace T. Lefever did to promote peace, justice, organic growing, natural foods, natural healing as well as love for all creation. Her love of life and deep faith as well as the knowledge she shared over the years are her legacy that helped build Sonnewald Natural Foods and will last for generations.

Sonnewald Natural Foods is located at 4796 Lehman Rd., in Spring Grove. Grace’s legacy of the Weed Walks is continued today by her daughter, Willa Lefever. DVD sets of Grace’s Weed Walks are available for purchase at Sonnewald Natural Foods. For more information, visit Sonnewald.org or FaceBook.com/Sonnewald.