To be honest, I didn’t think we could do it. We had a month to move all our earthly possessions from a 1,200 square foot storage unit to a couple of 300 square foot spaces.
It was part of our effort to draw a line between our personal lives and our new nonprofit. Exhibits and books in one unit. Farm equipment and personal belongings in another. It was part of our effort to continually lower overhead. And it was part of our effort to shed stuff.
We found ourselves with more space than we needed as we shift into a new travel rig and living smaller. (More news on that to come in a week or two…we are so excited!)
But—back to the point—it all felt daunting. A year and half ago, we had gone through this process when we sold our house. We were certain we had shed all that we could. But as we surveyed the boxes on the shelves, it looked like SO…MUCH…STUFF. And all that stuff felt heavy. It was time to let go.
Moving is messy. The first step was to take everything off the shelves and move the shelves into the new space, leaving us drowning in a sea of boxes. Slowly we went through each container and divided our belongings into piles to “keep,” “donate,” “sell,” or “throw.”
The kids came over and we worked our way through the stored memories, with a river of laughter, a trickle of tears and a healthy dose of “why on earth did we keep this…what even IS this?”
We invited friends to sift through the piles. My father’s father’s wood planer went home with Ray, who will use it well in his wood shop. Jim and George both stocked up on tools for their kids’ new homes. Chris inherited a few lights that I no longer use.
That insurmountable mountain of stuff was slowly chipped down to a manageable hill, and then…it was done. We were tired, but we did it. It was freeing. Liberating. Exciting. All the things.
And it occurred to me, in all the storytelling that we do, this is the arc that gives me hope. When that journey seems long, just take the first step. When the divide seems too wide, just reach out. When the wound is so deep, offer a single word of healing. When the world is oppressively dark, light your solitary flame and watch it cast a remarkable light.
In the face of insurmountable odds, Desmond Tutu reminded us… “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”