Happy 2016! Judging by my local Goodwill, it is that time of year to create new space and energy in our lives by letting go of old stuff. Last weekend there was a mini Everest of donations blocking the entrance to the Goodwill. As I stood gawping at the door, more and more people arrived with bags of clothing, toys and once loved things. ‘This is a guitar,’ a young dad said gingerly placing it on top of the pile.
A few years ago I went through a period of wanting to live in monastic simplicity. I thought about whittling everything down to one or two suitcases. I arrived here 25 years ago with one enormous case that my sister joked could double as a second home if necessary. But since Laura passed, I find I am enjoying things again. The stories they carry, the love that went into making them (and also giving them and yes, even receiving them) and sometimes just the sheer beauty of the shapes.
I’ve come to believe the only thing wrong with things, is how we treat them. If we block their flow, holding onto too much stuff or trying to be too stoic and refuse the joy they bring. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the things of this world while we are here. They are the product of our energy. Some journey with us for a little while, others ’til the end. At the moment I am enjoying a little red stone heart from Sedona, a filigree piece of red coral Laura brought back from a scuba trip and a red feathered ceremonial hat from Cameroon, Africa. I’ve just realized they are all red, a color I once loathed. There’s no accounting for taste.