There’s nothing like seeing all your belongings parcelled and packed into a lorry to make you think about your relationship with the things you own. We were paying people to transport these things across counties. I had to ask the question: were they worth it?
I wrote last year about how I prefer to set down ‘aspirations’ compared to ‘resolutions’ at the turn of the new year. In 2016, these aspirations were not a rod for my back (as resolutions can be) but a focal point to return to throughout the year. They focused the mind without disheartening it. By now most resolutions will have fallen by the wayside but, with life’s recent changes, I’m still dreaming for the year ahead.
We were meant to be buying a house. My intended handful of months in this city had already grown into years. We were planning to set down roots indefinitely. Instead, a new job was offered, and we began to listen to a whisper of adventure that stirred our previously hibernating hearts. We’ve answered that call.
The latter half of the year brought with it a relentless pace. Time was carefully measured and spent. Not a drop wasted. We found it to be manageable for a season, but more a question of surviving than thriving. We were head above the water but there wasn’t a moment to take a breath.
It isn’t unusual for our dinner conversation to turn to what a wholly sustainable life looks like. We can find ourselves treading a familiar path of logic: that the only way to avoid harming the natural world and other people is to escape the infrastructure and culture of the modern world; both can be so unkind. A truly sustainable life would be living off our own land, off the grid. Making and growing our own. Total retreat.
October’s pickings centre around persevering. Continuing well, or at least the best that you can. This isn’t to invite concern – life’s rhythms are more extreme than we would choose, but we are learning to keep our heads up while our feet keep walking on. We are fortunate; we know it is not forever.