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My church recently began a brick walkway fundraiser. The path from the parking lot to the church is being laid with bricks that are engraved with names, dates, or other information that someone feels is important. I ordered two bricks. One says, “Plant a Garden” and the other says “Change Your Mind”.

OK, the “Plant a Garden” brick is obvious. The Garden Lady can be counted on to purchase that one. But “Change Your Mind”? Why should that be included?

Some years ago I bought a board at Armstrong-Kelley Park that says the same thing. I imagine people walking up the boardwalk, thinking about a situation or problem, and coming upon that board. Change your mind!

I picture visitors to the park, and now my church, reading the various names and inscriptions and wondering why someone would pay to have “Change Your Mind” put there among the names of loved ones and former pets.

For me, it’s a reminder that sometimes our thinking can get us in trouble. As a friend of mine used to say, “The mind is a dangerous neighborhood.” We can miss what is happening right in front of us because our mind is focused on the past or the future. I can be so busy thinking about what I should have done in my garden, or what I’m going to do, that I overlook the miracles that are there right now.

It’s especially difficult to stay in the present in the winter. Looking at my ice-covered rain garden, I spend time wondering what will be alive next spring, and which other plants to use in this area that will both tolerate the flooding and smother the weeds. This train of thought leads me away from the beautiful contrast between the ice and the red twig dogwood. I forget to see what is presently there.

Even as I work indoors I overlook how lovely the houseplants are. The house is filled with flowers and foliage, and many times my mind is so busy that I forget to really see them. Perhaps I need a brick or board in my house or garden, reminding me: Change Your Mind.

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