It’s a quiet morning around here.
For reading and writing, spooning yogurt with fruit and sipping coffee. For savoring gentle morning sunshine and wandering barefoot around the house.
I recently moved across the country — from Berkeley to Boston — and things are finally getting unpacked and set up. Doesn’t that process always seem to take centuries? But, at last!, the number of boxes is dwindling!
It’s been strange to see all my stuff again.
I moved out of my parents house at 18 when I went to college. Since then, I’ve lived in 3 dorms, 5 apartments, and 2 houses. I spent a few months staying in a staff house while I was a trail guide and a few months living in an author’s house (along with her dog, Sir Barks-a-Lot) while she was on Sabbatical. I also spent a significant amount of time traveling and staying with friends & family.
When I list my previous residences for background checks or lease applications, there are enormous multi-month gaps where I was living in my car or tent more than I was renting.
Needless to say, I haven’t been able to keep a lot of material possessions with me. They’ve spent most of the time in storage bins or my parents’ basement.
But now, they’re here. My car, my backpack, my piano, my books, my clothes, my wicker mirror, my childhood journals, my bicycle, my houseplants… they’re all in one place.
It’s amazing how many things I own that I forgot about.
Hello chicken timer!
“Is she free?”
Yesterday, I was telling my Pastor about a visit to my boyfriend’s mother, who lives in a sweet little country house in Western Mass. He expressed surprise that she could afford to buy a house in her late 60s.
“Well,” I explained, “she lives frugally.” And she does. Her aesthetic tends toward the sparse and utilitarian. She barely has any material possessions at all.
“Oh. Is she free?” he asked.
“What?” The question caught me off guard.
“Is she free? If she doesn’t have any material possessions weighing her down, she must be a free spirit.”
I had to chew on that one for a while.
“I guess we aren’t all weighed down by the same things,” he admitted eventually. But I wondered, as I settled into my new home, reunited with my old stuff.
As someone who dislikes clutter and likes back-country backpacking, I can certainly appreciate the freedom that comes from living minimally. As someone who has spent almost a decade wandering place-to-place every few months, I can also appreciate creature comforts. (I have internet now! In my house!)
While most people I know seem to be going in the other direction — worrying over too much stuff, too much technology, too much busy-ness in their lives — I’m sitting on a chair I inherited from my grandmother and deeply appreciating the comfort and consistency of home.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude each morning I bike to work along the gorgeous pond-circling tree-lined path, every night when I tuck my clothes back into my childhood bureau, every time I can sit on my porch and watch the summer storm clouds gather.
Right now, it doesn’t feel like too much to me. It feels like downpours of blessing.
But the minute I feel like my soul’s freedom is in question, it all goes. All of it. Starting with that chicken timer.
Happy that Imperfect Prose is back over at Emily’s! Go visit 🙂