Our belongings: treasures or burdens?

September 21, 2011

I felt really good today. I was happier than I have been for quite some time. I walked around my house on light feet. I felt at peace.

The day started out well. My friend had driven into the city last night, and we sat up late catching up on news. After I got my son off to school this morning, she and I sat down to work on the book we are writing.  When she left, I got caught up on the sales from the farmer’s markets over the weekend. And I was able to unpack my suitcase and settle back into my house after being on the road.

I used to love being on the road. It was exhilarating to go somewhere new. Sleep in new surroundings. Experience a new town, a new hotel, a new restaurant. That was when I had a house with all of my belongings safely stored inside.

Perhaps all of those belongings made me feel trapped. And I had to get away. So spending time working in another town was the escape I needed. I certainly didn’t carry my belongings with me while on the road. Only what I needed for the time I was gone. Since I was gone only two days at a time, I didn’t need that much.

I was gone long enough to feel the weight of my world lift. Long enough to be relieved of the burdens my belongings placed upon me. Then when I returned home, my belongings would cry out for attention. And the weight of their demands would begin suffocating me once again.

Now I no longer have my house, and my belongings are all lost to the wildfire. Now I am quite content to be at home. More than content. I want to be at home, in familiar surroundings. Even though the things I have now in my house are all new to me, they still feel comforting. Even though this house is not mine, I feel quite at home.

There is very little here crying out for attention. I had a few boxes in my living room that needed to be dealt with. I moved them into the spare bedroom. They can wait for me in there. Other boxes were filled with objects I didn’t need so they went into the trunk of my car. I will take them to the second hand store to allow someone else to own them.

There isn’t a lot in this house that isn’t being used on a daily basis. Not like my former house. It was filled with objects that I no longer had any use for. Objects that were packed away in boxes because they didn’t belong anywhere. Objects that simply sat, collecting dust, their use long since past. Objects that held special memories, rarely invoked because of the lack of time to reminisce.

I do have a small box of mementos in this house. Items that survived the wildfire. They are safely stored on the shelf in the kitchen. My friend brought me the extra key to my former house, a key that no longer had a door to fit into. I put it into the box of mementos, another survivor of the wildfire.  I don’t know what to do with that key. Hopefully, I’ll just throw it out.

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