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This week's editorial

Editor Joan Ritchie's editorial from this week's issue of The Moose Jaw Express.

We brought my pops home for a few weeks for a little reprieve from the seniors’ complex where he lives in Saskatoon. Although he lives independently in his own suite and has interaction with the other tenants, and although the high-rise residence where he lives has grounds to enjoy, he just doesn’t get enough fresh air and sunshine.  

Since he has been spending a lot of the mornings/afternoons and evenings outdoors on the deck soaking up the Vitamin D, his temperament has been elevated to a more optimistic level.  

Being 88 years old with some mobility issues, as well as other things that compound with age, it’s hard to be up in a down world when time and age are working against you.   

“Being out in the sun is proven to make you healthier not just emotionally, but physically as well. It promotes healthier attitudes toward diet and exercise, and gives us our dose of Vitamin D which can be hard to get from foods alone. Vitamin D promotes healthy cell and bone growth, reduces inflammation, and helps to stimulate immune function. Being exposed to the sun can lower blood pressure, create stronger bones and teeth, reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer, and can help to cure skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema.

“Being in the sun also increases our vitality and energy. Richard Ryan, a psychology professor at the University of Rochester states that “research has shown that people with a greater sense of vitality don’t just have more energy for things they want to do, they are also more resilient to physical illnesses. One of the pathways to health may be to spend more time in natural settings.”

There are so many benefits to spending time outside. It’s not only wonderful to take in the beauty of each day, but also to enjoy nature in its natural habitat. Birds, deer, rabbits and many other animals make parks and streets within city limits their habitation.   

We can enjoy the sweet song of the robins as they seem to gravitate towards their human sojourners. Over the last couple years, two robins in particular, seem to think that our yard is their playground. Even while sitting on the deck, they fly in so close to sit on the hanging pots that you would think they wanted to get in on the conversation.  

Apparently, the internet also says there is a close spiritual connection between seeing a robin as a forerunner to good fortune.   

“Birds are the messenger of God. They are [one of] the only creatures on Earth that have a body part like angels; yes, these are wings. Different birds have different meanings concerning their colour or species. If someone frequently sees a particular bird, they must read about its symbolic meaning…

“When a red robin passes through you, it means joy and happiness. If you are going through a dark and tough time, it only means that the bad things and situations are coming to an end or the cycle is coming to an end. Seeing the red robin close means that good luck is coming to you very soon.

“Therefore the meaning of seeing a robin encourages us to let go of the negativity affecting our lives and embrace a new chapter and a happier phase. Ultimately the robin birds enable us to move forward with grace and determination.”

As ‘fresh-air inspectors,’ we need to get as much sunshine as we can while the getting’s good.  

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  

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