Earlier this year, I went through an internal tug-of-war with decisions related to clearing my house of items I no longer need or use, often feeling emotional pangs that were at odds with practical wishes to lighten the load and make space. What to do with the aerial photo of our house that I purchased for Dave 27 years ago, the 1000s of Lego pieces, the archives of a former entrepreneurial business of mine, the delightful lid to the now-broken-and-long-gone sugar bowl that was part of our wedding china?
Concurrent with my decluttering, I happened to be reading the historical novel This Road We Traveled by Jane Kirkpatrick about an extended family that sets out on the Oregon Trail during westward expansion in the United States in the 1800s to travel roughly 2000 miles in covered wagons pulled by oxen. I was particularly attentive to the many decisions this family has to make.
While loading their wagons before departure: What to bring? What to leave behind? Far along the trail, with scarce food and declining strength in both humans and animals, and miles and mountains yet to traverse: What to continue conveying? What to leave beside the trail? Something as small as a Bible, or smaller, might need to be discarded because the cumulative weight of even thimbles and sentimentally-cherished letter openers exceeds the ability to transport.
This story comes to mind again as one of my friends prepares to put her house on the market this summer and move to a smaller home. What might I give her for her birthday that won't feel like one more thing to pack, one more thing that will take up space in her new place?
• the gift of a beach walk and cup of coffee on a sunny blue-skied spring morning in May, and
• two handpainted bookmarks : )
|Whistlings, Warblings, Wildness, and Joy|
5x1.75"; acrylics, ink, and oil pastel on card stock
|Pull at the Quill Pen, Tip the Ink Bottle|
5x1.75"; acrylics, ink, and watercolor pastel on card stock