Storage/You can’t take it with you, so you may as well enjoy not having it now!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been sending a poem every Monday to a dear friend who was in need of support. Other people offered to do her laundry or cleaning …. I sent her poems! She has been gracious enough to say they were much appreciated, and I do want to believe poetry and other carefully considered writing can bring consolation and comfort.

The weeks have passed, my friend still needs support and lots of loving, but I thought I would now post them here and on Facebook to widen the reach and share things that comfort and also challenge me.

Here’s one I find very challenging! I love my ‘things’, they tell stories, have memories embedded in them, make my house beautiful and give the illusion of identity and safety.

But they also weigh me down and limit my freedom and give me a false sense of who I really am.

I would like to enjoy ‘living lighter’ while I’m still here, and relieve my daughters of the task of getting rid of it all when I’m gone. But I am early to this thought, so it’s a work in progress! In the meantime, here’s the poem. Let me know your responses:

Storage, by Mary Oliver

When I moved from one house to another

there were many things I had no room

for. What does one do? I rented a storage

space. And filled it. Years passed.

Occasionally I went there and looked in,

but nothing happened, not a single

twinge of the heart.

As I grew older the things I cared

about grew fewer, but were more

important. So one day I undid the lock

and called the trash man. He took

everything.

I felt like the donkey when

his burden is finally lifted. Things!

Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful

fire! More room in your heart for love,

for the trees! For the birds who own

nothing—the reason they can fly.

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