Lighting the Beacons

Ethan and Meg with their cat Willow
Portrait of Meg Hirshberg Meg Cadoux

My son Ethan and I and our 18-year old kitty Willow. 

I live on a lake in New Hampshire. It’s dotted with buoys that warn of sudden shallows and perilous rocks, and a series of lit markers guiding boaters to the channel should they lose their way at night. Reaching one lit beacon brings the next one into view. Bit by bit, you are led to safety.  

The Anticancer Lifestyle is centered around small changes. “Bit by bit” could be our course motto. Start a walking routine, and you may find yourself wanting to eat a bit healthier, too. That healthier diet might create a new focus on nontoxic cookware and food storage. One small change will lead to another, each a lit beacon that brings the next one into view.   

We are all now confronted with serious challenges that make everything seem harder, as a sense of Isolation and loneliness makes its way into our homes, our brains, and our hearts. Whether you’re in a family of six or living alone, the months with minimal social interaction are catching up to us. But paradoxically these challenges create an opportune time to make those small, achievable changes in our lives that have the power to improve our physical and emotional health. 

It is often noted that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of two other combined characters, one signifying danger and the other opportunity. There may be hidden opportunities for personal growth in our current crisis. Even the anguish of forced social distance can increase our sense of grace and compassion if we look at strangers passing by not as potential vectors of disease, but rather as fellow humans struggling to navigate a difficult time.  Take a moment to send them some love and light, and don’t be surprised when that light winds up reflecting right back on its source.

Yours in health,


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