I am accumulating houseplants and pets. This makes me suspicious. This is a transformation, a direct contradiction of the bylaws of the committee of Me.
Across the windowsill above the sink, they’ve started to line up — the coleus she planted in preschool, barely kept alive for two years. A strawberry plant gifted from family. Lemon balm spontaneously added to the cart at Trader Joe’s two days ago, in a fit of nostalgia. A hen-and-chick pulled by the kid from a crumbling curb-side planting in San Francisco, toted home in her suitcase. Basil. Philodendron.
What is happening? My best guess: the experiment is working. When we yanked the pull string on the dervish of our Big Move, the objective was simplification. Slow down, trim away the crushing demands we’d built into our lives. Require less.
Space to breathe. Space to see. Space to pause. Space to find the horizon, to think, to stretch out our arms and welcome the new. Welcome the mess of life. Welcome each other in again.
When I’m very quiet, I can see that our life has loosened at the edges, widened its corners. There are tentative signs that we’ve got sustenance to spare. It’s possible that our cups are now more full than empty and we’re ready to share.
Maybe I can take care of a houseplant. And some chickens. Maybe I’ve found the space.
Space is a verb. We do not occupy space, we create it.
Thanks for taking up the challenge. I bet it feels good to look back on, and to do.
You really are good at this.