Path of Life, Part One

Alex and Ani Path of Life charm bracelet.

Alex and Ani ‘Path of Life’ charm bracelet.

My job at a luxury retailer has forced me to face a number of issues. Rather than resent the inevitable changes to my writing, lifestyle, and hobbies, I have decided to enjoy the adjustments that are the reality of my new found career.

For example, my job is forty-five minutes from home. With this commute included, I am now working over a forty-hour week. I’m on my feet most of the time, and that adds a smidgen of physical stress to the mix. The two days off per week cannot possibly accommodate all the things I need to do—that is, if I stubbornly stick to the old program. This is a new phase in my life, and I intend to celebrate it.

The company Alex and Ani has made a business of providing bracelets with charms that reflect this spirit. Sold in silver or gold, they celebrate the events or accomplishments in our lives. Many of my customers are obsessed by them and stack the bracelets high up their arm.

There is a particular charm, Path of Life, which is a favorite. It celebrates the highs and lows of life, the flow of all things into each other as we take our individual journey. I have grown to appreciate the truth behind this charm and how it describes my own life. Specifically, and for the purpose of this post, the change in my free hours has forced me to re-evaluate my garden.

I love flowers and plants. When we moved to Florida, and I took a hiatus from corporate life, I was determined to have a rose garden. My life-long dream to harvest my own roses turned into a nightmare of spraying chemicals and fighting the naturally hot and humid conditions of a subtropical climate. After a few years of heavy labor, I gave in and let the roses go—gently—as they had become my children. One remains, a tough climber who refuses to die.

I gravitated to orchids, as they are much better suited to the moist conditions. I have had phenomenal success. Slowly, I have changed the landscaping around my home, choosing specimens that require no chemicals and thrive in the heat and humidity. I also have to deal with pesky rabbits, inquisitive deer, and nervy squirrels. The squirrels eat everything. Yesterday I saw one sitting on the corner of the lanai screen munching on a deadheaded bird of paradise. He turned it round and round like an ear of corn. It was good information, and I realize that if he could support his weight on the plants I wouldn’t have a single flower.

Rosemary works quite well in discouraging pesky vermin, and it loves the hot conditions. Years ago I cut out a picture from the newspaper and have had it pinned to the bulletin board in the laundry room. Its prescience interests me, because it shows perfectly the Mediterranean/ Provençal look I am going for. All these plants are rather low maintenance but lush and welcoming. The landscaping solution was waiting for me years before I really needed it. It’s funny how that happens. Have a beautiful day.

The landscape look I am working toward.

The landscape look I am working toward.

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