I am trying to think of my life with just a few possessions in it. What would that life feel like? What would it feel like having hardly anything at all but the shirt on my back, pants, socks, a pair of comfortable shoes, and a hat to keep the sun out of my eyes and the rain off my face? If I were unencumbered by all my many possessions, would I feel unencumbered? Would I feel agile, alert, and ready for anything?
What would it feel like having hardly anything at all except a very light bag? What possessions would I put in it that would serve me well for the rest of my life? The first thing that comes to mind are photographs of my parents, my brother, our children, and the two of us, my husband and I. All the other pictures would have to remain in my memory.
What book would I bring? I think something that would instruct me through the rest of my life. Perhaps The Decline and Fall Of The Roman Empire by Gibbons. I have a copy of it that I used in the tenth grade. It’s a bit heavy, but it might be worth its weight in gold. Also I would put in all the typewritten letters my father wrote me through the years. They are filled with humor and stories and sweet crazy love, and weigh nothing at all. Most important of all, and probably the only thing I will really need, would be paper and pencil to write descriptions of what I see along the way.
I am sure there will be other things I will consider adding, but mostly I am thinking about what not to add. I do not want to be encumbered along my new way.
Would I store the furniture, the books, the china, the silver, the jewelry, the linen—all passed down through generations—or would give them away? How will it feel knowing I will never touch any of it again?
We have only this one life to live. So far, I have had everything. It is time to have practically nothing now. Light-handed, we could travel the world wide. Black cap, shirt, pants, jacket, shoes and coat, our attire would be suitable for roaming anywhere. We would be nomads, free, crisscrossing the world.
It is a scary thought, giving everything up. But I also know that fear limits you. I don’t see our path clearly yet, and I don’t know where it leads. But not knowing where we are going is what inspires me to travel it. The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is ever certain. We have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to occur. A lot of good love can happen in ten years.