bon voyage #WritePhoto

Photo courtesy of Sue Vincent

She looked up in November and saw they were leaving. The geese flew, silent against the grey sky, headed for their winter home. She lifted her mittened hand and waved.

“Au revoir!” she called out to them. “A bientot!” she never failed to add, counting on seeing their return in the spring. 

She always said something in French to them. After all, she thought whimsically, they were Canadian geese — some of them might speak French. And, indeed, she was rewarded with a couple of fleeting honks.

She continued on her solitary walk, happy to have seen them, but sorry to see them go. She felt a fresh pang of loneliness.

Months later, against the blue skies of a spring day, she spotted the beginning of their return. She loved the way they traveled together, looking out for each other, sharing the journey. She listened to their honking chatter as if they might be calling out her name. 

One hand to her brimming heart, and the other waving broadly, she cried, “Mes amis! Bienvenue!” Her whisper followed, “I missed you.”

In autumn, a day came she never thought she would see.

This time, when the geese called, two smiling faces turned upward together.

She felt her heart fill and overflow, grateful, amazed for this perfect moment. She felt herself soaring in the sky with all the beauty that now filled her world.

She waved to the geese. “Merci! Merci beaucoup!” she called to them. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart!” 

Her companion gently laughed in amusement, pulling her close, waving joyfully.

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Many thanks to Sue Vincent for this week’s #WritePhoto prompt, “Soar.”

simple changes for a healthy life and world

veru2_13_19-e1550060900590.jpgI was happy to see a recent video in which Mic. the Vegan interviewed Dr. Dean Ornish.

Mic. the Vegan always offers fun and informative presentations on all things vegan. His forte is delving into actual research to substantiate what we know about the vegan lifestyle. Be sure and check out his channel here.

I’ve appreciated Dr. Ornish since way back when he first published Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease. Everything in there made sense to me then, back in 1990, and it still does.

Ornish has a new book, Undo It, written with his wife, Anne.  The idea is that most chronic diseases can be reversed through simple lifestyle changes.

In Mic.’s interview, Ornish boiled the themes of the book down to a handful of maxims:

EAT WELL.

MOVE MORE.

STRESS LESS.

LOVE MORE.

Eating well translates to a plant-based diet. Ornish encourages vegan – the book includes recipes, too. Moving more means exercise. Stressing less involves things like meditation and yoga. Loving more means healthy, loving relationships in our lives, including connectedness with friends and community.

Sounds simple enough, eh? 

Mic. quizzed Ornish about a variety of topics. One that they spent some time on was the prevalence of depression and loneliness, and the impact on health – hence, the “Love more” part of the mix – which Ornish singled out as a high priority. In fact, in 1998 he wrote an entire book on that subject alone: Love & Survival.

Needless to say, Ornish’s latest book is on my reading list. It would be great to see us all take Ornish’s four simple maxims to heart: Eat well, move more, stress less, love more. If we did that, we would all be a lot healthier.

Not only that, adhering to those maxims as a culture has the potential to change the world and our collective future in very positive ways – from protecting our endangered planet to improving the very structure of our society.

Works for me. It’s simple steps each one of us can do to take care of ourselves and each other. Let’s “be the change we wish to see.”