Fire and Rain: Beauty and Good Health From the Ashes

My wife and I took a nature walk on the southern slope of the Santa Monica Mountains shortly after a brush fire had ravaged the earth and turned the blackened branches of the laurel sumac trees into hands that clawed at the darkening sky. It was a scene right out of Dante’s Inferno, tempered by the life that lay on the other side of the hill. On that “other side,” stretched out before us were acres of lavender blossoms belonging …

Chasing Time Through California

There is a sweetness to the distance that intersects with time and necessity to call one to the open road. It comes from beyond the mountains and the far side of the widest rivers, just a whisper at first and then a summons that mimics the lure of the fictional island of World War II’s Bali Hai that called the sailors to “Come to me, come to me …” Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter Cinelli and I heard …

Facing the Perils in Paradise

There is a place beyond imagination and beyond the rattle of the inner city, beyond the housing tracts of suburbia and even beyond the relatively distant semi-wilderness in areas around Los Angeles known informally as exurbia. We call that settlement of heavenly dreams Nowherebia. It is an area that the soul yearns for on those days that freeway traffic is jammed bumper to bumper from the ocean to the desert where crime is on the rise, where tract houses of …

New Hope for Older People in a Disaster

It’s hurricane season. Yes, until Nov. 30. In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an active or extremely active hurricane season. That means we could see 13 to 20 named storms, of which three to six could be major hurricanes (categories 3-5).  This is well above the seasonal average. As we know from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, older people are particularly at risk during a hurricane. That’s true for all forms of disaster – natural, man-made …

A Deer in the Garden, a Cat in the Box

These are the gentle years, beyond the rages of youth and the desperation of middle age, seasons of summer warmth, and skies so intensely blue that it hurts the eyes to gaze upon them.  Only God and the artist Magritte could paint such skies and implant such peace on a softening day in July. I was sitting on a bench in our garden, a half-acre spread that my wife has transformed into Eden, when it occurred to me how much …

Easter Springs a Renewal of Hope

A shiny new pair of shoes, a hot cross bun, hiding colorful eggs, the big furry white bunny, the resurrection, a basket full of candy….What does Easter mean to you? Obviously, as we pass through different phases of life it means different things. As I am now 51 years old, which means I have completed several life phases, it is none of the above. It is more than something that is tangible. It is hope. Hope is a powerful thing. …