Letter from the Publishers, June 2019
Kendra & Jacqueline
As summer unfolds, June brings a celebration of fathers, grandfathers, important men in our lives, graduations and celebrations of new beginnings and possibilities. Along with special focus on men’s health, support of brain and body function throughout the years is illuminated in our pages this month, in the virtues of edible mushrooms and in the suggestions for maintaining optimal cognitive function as we grow older.
The importance of moving our bodies in physical activity, even for 30 minutes a day, is at the heart of many expert approaches to embracing aging, including Melinda Hemmelgarn’s “Brain-Savers: Smart Strategies for Preventing Dementia,” with tips for anyone concerned with preventing and treating cognitive decline and memory loss. Experiences of recent milestone birthdays, enjoying nephews and nieces’ accomplishments and graduations along with watching parents and friends relax into retirement, have prompted careful examination of my own efforts at preserving and supporting physical, cognitive and spiritual health. There is something about these life transitions that encourages a look back and a turning of attention to the sometimes not-so-gentle reminders offered by body and spirit of the importance of tending to our “life garden”. Allowing time and space to honor these milestones and transitions provides opportunities to recreate the remainder of life, to redefine it if needed, to restore and recommit.
The practice of daily exercise is at times easier to initiate and maintain when combined with companionship for motivation and support. Spending time with my brother - an important man in my life - has proven an effective incentive to achieving a daily, three-mile, sunrise walk. Sometimes lost in our own morning thoughts, and at times sharing stories of the prior day and plans for what lies ahead, we walk in stride through a small woodland and next to fields in various stages of growth. We encounter wildlife and extravagant birdsong as we gain perspective, learn from each other and more effectively navigate the challenges and changes of everyday life. Such gifts are immeasurable and gratitude for the investment we are making in our well-being is abundant.
I see in him and other fathers in my life, the juxtaposition of joy and discomfort as preparations are made for children to be born, be nurtured and then leave the nest. Chris Bruno reflects on the importance of facing “Our Own Story First” as preparations are made for parenthood – quoting Franciscan friar and renowned author, Richard Rohr, “If we do not transform our own pain, we will transmit it in some form.” The suggestion of turning inwards to gain insight to where we’ve been and what we bring to those in our lives acknowledges the impact of what we, as parents, relatives, friends and community, contribute to the next generation.
Join me in extending kindness and generosity to ourselves and to those who have shaped us as we heal, grow and continue our becoming the best version of ourselves we can be.
With gratitude, we wish you a joyous summer season, of feeling good, living simply and laughing more.
~Kendra and Jacqueline