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Rearranging things

Last spring, I hired painters to repaint the interior of my home. I emptied all my closets and shelves. I took down everything that was hanging on the walls and in the windows. I've spent my summer deciding what to put back, what to give away, and what to store. My house is exactly as it was but freshly painted with new colors, and I've rearranged some -- but not all -- of what is now on the walls, shelves and windows. In the rearranging that followed, I've discovered artwork that I loved but had forgotten or overlooked. I've selected books to put on the shelf that I've started re-reading because I had forgotten about them, even though they'd been in front of my eyes for years.

We had a tree in the yard that was very dear to us because my husband grew it from a very small sapling he ordered in the mail in the '70s. This California blue spruce eventually grew so big that we had to transfer it from the pot it was in to the back yard where it grew to 40 or 50 feet tall. I put Christmas lights on it even though it was in our back yard. It wasn't for show; it was for us. Well, us and our neighbors. But the tree that gave us so much pleasure became infected and I had to cut it down this year. I replaced it with a pink dogwood that I hope will bring me as much happiness, shade and beauty for years to come, as well as any future owners after me. During all of this, I removed a few shrubs and transplanted some others that had all been planted in our ever more crowded garden. The tree is in good health and loaded with buds, so I'm looking forward to pink flowers in spring. And, today, I had the pleasure of enjoying the rosy blooms of three transplanted stonecrops that I moved. They had been hidden for years by the tree and shrubs that are now gone. Pruning, cutting back, transplanting and rearranging what has been there all along has given me a beautiful new garden.

Earlier this week, I traveled to eastern Long Island to visit a friend for two days. It's a long drive from Connecticut, about 2 and 3/4 hours, but it was midday, the traffic was light and the weather was good. I enjoyed farm-fresh food, good company, sunny beaches and more. But when it was time for me to go home, I decided to take the ferry from Port Jefferson on the north shore to Bridgeport which is only about 20 minutes from my home. Again, rearranging what is my usual habit rewarded me with a spectacular day on Long Island Sound.

Sometimes, it's just a little thing that opens up a whole new perspective. Move a picture from here to there. Add a plant. Swap two pieces of furniture. Drive a different route. Call a friend you haven't spoken to in a while. Sit facing a different way.

Changes don't have to be big to be meaningful. Get up on the other side of the bed this week. Surprise yourself.

Peace and love to you in the week ahead.


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