Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Moving day is coming soon. There's a lot of stuff to get rid of before that happens. A garage sale is on the agenda for the weekend. I'm not sure, with day time high temperatures forecast at just above the freezing mark, that the turnout will be any good but I am willing to gamble on it. It helps that my neighbour just down the road is having a farm auction the same day.

The home we are moving into is about a third smaller than our current one. It's forcing me to sort and toss. I look at my possessions and ask myself if I can live without this or that item. I am finding more things I can let go than I ever thought possible. I am just as sure there would be some head scratching as to the 'whys' of this choice over that one. I feel a bit like the Irishman in Braveheart who said, "It's my island!" It's my stuff.

If I find one more container full of papers to shred though I may be tempted to make a nest in the shreds and hibernate for a bit. The weather seems to indicate that would be a good choice.

As I sort and pack I think about the elderly who are often forced to make the transition from having a lifetime of stuff whittled down to keeping just the most precious of them. Letting go must be hard. I wonder why we wait until then to keep only those things we can't or don't want to let go of. I think then of the final letting go of all earthly possessions. I find myself getting a tad cynical and wanting to chuck it all right now.

But I know the attachment is really in my mind....that there is nothing wrong with having stuff and nothing wrong with being attached to it. I do wonder when does it become too much stuff. Too much attached. Maybe there is no such thing as too much of either.

I think of my in- laws who watched passively as some of their most precious possessions were thrown away as 'junk' by some of their children. What did it feel like to have a lifetime of hard work dismissed as a truck load of garbage dump material? What IS the point of accumulating just to let go of it all in the end?

I used to attach a spiritual signifigance to material possessions. The less you had the more spiritual you were. I took pride in having nothing. I was so far from spiritual. I was 35 before I admitted how much I liked pretty things. Admitted it was okay to not only like them but have them too. Admitted how much being surrounded by pretty things nourished my soul. I'm not willing to live a spartan life anymore. Or at least not willing to attach a spiritual price tag to it.

I will continue to sort and pack and toss away. I imagine it's the journey we are all on. In all areas of life. Sort, pack and toss away. Around and around the cycle goes until the final transition.

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