In my current life living in a campground, I use a laptop computer and a lap desk, an electronic book reader, a digital camera, a cell phone, six pairs of shoes and clothes that fit into three small drawers and take up half a six-foot wide wardrobe, three pairs of prescription glasses, a pair of shades, two purses, several bound notebooks, a few pieces of jewelry and colored pencils.
John and I share a Toyota Matrix, a truck and the thirty-foot fifth wheel trailer that we now call home. We share dishes, pots and pans, bed linens, towels, two ottomans, four throw pillows, stationery, a color inkjet printer, a Honeywell electric heater, a small toolbox of tools, a step ladder, four light-weight camping chairs, a bronze-coated campfire drum, a TV, a Syrius radio and two clocks.
We left behind in Tucson a rented house, another car and a sixteen by eight-foot moving container with the rest of our possessions. We are living fine without the house, extra car and all the stuff in the moving container. We have concluded that we don’t need any of the things we left behind or the encumbrances that go with them.
We are relearning the happiness of not having things. There is a simplicity that has come with living in three hundred square feet of space. This living, at its best, is engaging, nurtures a sense of freedom and is fulfilling in itself. There is an easy flow that takes place between me, John and our dog at mealtimes, on outings from the trailer, when we are at home with dog napping and humans reading or working on a computer and at bedtime. There is relaxedness and comfort that comes when visiting with people as we talk, listen, learn who they and we are.
What I wished for and feared is happening. A simpler life that I may get so attached that I don’t want it to end. In this space that we have created, something fabulous and wonderful seems to be incubating. Into this simpler world, something new feels about to be born.
Quietude, patience and attentiveness ready me for what is already and what is to come. Cooperation and sharing prepare John and I for what lay ahead. Henry David Thoreau said: Our lives are frittered away with detail. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! In this moment, I am truly grateful for much less detail.
(Above is an excerpt from author’s book “This Restless Life: A dream chased through California parks in an RV” which will be available on Amazon.com in late February.)