Where is Home?
We are in, but not quite ensconced. There are still more books than we have room for (and that is after giving eighteen shopping bags of books to Goodwill). There are still more clothes than closet space. Two and a half years ago we moved from a large house to a smaller house, now we have moved from a house to a two bedroom apartment: if we keep moving every two years, maybe I will really get rid of all the junk I've accumulated.
Here's an irony: as I was packing up my books, I came across multiple books on organization. Most of these books are in pristine condition. Then there were the books on simplicity and living the simple life. Easier said than done. We don't own stuff, stuff owns us. Giving away great big bags of clothing and books, pitching years worth of old paperwork, putting aside all those extra dishes to sell: it feels great, as if a great burden were being lifted. I wish I had the courage and the stamina to do more. This is where I have a conflict: I love my books, I'm attached to my books, my books have significance to me. But there is a point where your possessions become a burden, and ownership interferes with life, and the enjoyment of life.
Having to move your own possessions can really make you feel the burden. It all took much longer than I had thought it would. We were only moving a distance of about five miles; I rented a U Haul Truck and bought a whole bunch of black plastic garbage bags ( a great idea until you are staring at a mound of them, wondering what's inside). As we made trips back and forth, the concept of home shifted. Home became "the house" and "the apartment" became home. Just like that.
I have my little desk set up next to the sliding glass door to the deck, and I can smell Jasmine in full flower wafting in on the breeze. The Pomeranian feels compelled to bark at every passerby, a reflex I hope will wane.After days of torrential rain, the weather is gorgeous: sunny, warm, temperatures in the 70's. Too bad we have to go back to school tomorrow, because I would love just one day to walk on the beach. We moved during Spring Break, and I don't know how we would have managed it in less than a week. Our new place will soon be our comfortable home, with everything just so, and belongings where we can find them. I will get back to a regular reviewing and posting schedule, and probably keep accumulating books (and giving books away).
One benefit of packing and unpacking all those books was rediscovering what was already in my home library. I picked up Ann Hood's An Ornithologist's Guide to Life and was immersed in minutes. I'm already about halfway through the book (okay, so I took a couple of little breaks from unpacking). I love short story collections, and own many that I haven't read. It's just the thing for a time when you can't devote yourself to long stretches of reading.
It's about time I put my head into my school books. I'm really happy to be home now, and looking forward to getting back to reading and reviewing more regularly. Here's a parting question for you Gentle Readers: What is Home? Discuss below....